People often wonder what drives BASICS doctors to spend their spare time racing around the neighbourhood to attend accidents and ill patients. Don't I get enough of that during my day job? I, like many other BASICS docs, am an A&E Consultant. I work all day, and some evenings too (I am at work at the moment), seeing the Great Unwashed of Society. Surely that's enough, isn't it? Well, for many of us, it just isn't enough. We crave the adrenaline rush of the call. We thrive on the tension while we drive on blues and twos to Lord knows what. And, let's be completely honest, we love feeling useful, to know that we have the ability to alter the almost inevitable outcome of a serious trauma.
When I turn up on scene, and am greeted by my colleagues in the Ambulance Service with relief; when the Fire Chief looks to me for guidance, it does give me a sense of purpose, a feeling that I am worth something.
But, all that aside, it is the12 year old lad who survived his cycle-vs-car accident, and the 35 year old lady who survived her microlite crash, and the 17 year old who survived her car-vs-telegraph pole altercation, all because I was called to the scene, and managed the patients in such a way as to optimise their care on the way to the hospital. To know, without a doubt, that these and others like them, are here because you gave up watching Eastenders to go to their aid, is more than enough to offset the sleepless nights and missed suppers.
I still love driving on blues and twos, though!