In final year, we thought that getting an internship post at our desired hospital was the hardest – and most coveted – thing.
Two years later, we all tried to find a community service posting that would give us a foot into the door to our future specialties.
But we didn’t know that those were the easy parts. Then, we still pretty much had guaranteed employment (most of us, at least).
Then came the end of Community Service, and reality hit us in the face: we were on our own.
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That’s where I am now. The government no longer “owes” me a job, and unless I find one, I’ll be unemployed come January 2018. People used to say, “There’s no such thing as an unemployed doctor.” These days, there are plenty of them, because freezing posts is a done thing.
Applying for my first post-comserve job is a bit like the whole “what do I want to do when I grow up” crisis all over again. Because I want to work with children, but how many paediatrics posts are available? Not many. And paeds has seen an upsurge in popularity, so the available posts are highly sought-after.
So what other jobs would I like to do? Jobs that could teach me something before I go back to working with children. But if something happens and I end up stuck in that job for a long time, will I be okay with it?
Looking for a job is an exercise in self-reproach. Why didn’t I do more courses this year? Why didn’t I write that diploma? Why didn’t I participate in more research? Why didn’t I suck up a little more, make sure people knew my name? Look at what everyone else has achieved. Why haven’t I?
It’s an opportunity to be kind to myself. I’ve had a big year.
I started therapy and finally found the right combination of meds.
I ended a long-term relationship.
I stayed on my own for the first time. The past few years were just adulting-lite. This year I had to learn the real art of adulting.
I finally started making friends.
As I explored this new city, I also explored myself.
I found parts that I hate. I found parts that I love.
I stepped out of my comfort zone, and as usual, it was rewarding.
Finding a post-comserve job is probably the scariest part of my medical career so far. I know I must not compare myself to others, but I also know that an interview panel will do exactly that. (By the way, I screwed up my most important interview. I got total stage-fright.)
This is also a time of great promise. It reminds me of everything I can do with this degree. It reminds me that I can stretch my wings. It reminds me that I am not captive. I am free.
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Sorry if you came here looking for some inspiration. I had to type because my nails were already bitten to the quick. Find me a job, and maybe I’ll be able to get back to the usual stuff.