Thursday, July 13, 2006


So everyone is blogging these days. Lots of doctors are doing it, mostly because we like the sounds of our own voices and think we have something valuable to say. Sometimes we do, and popular culture seems rather taken with medical practice and all things ‘health related’.

I’m an anaesthetic trainee, a very junior one who has yet to sit exams. This blog is intended to chart my way through my training and maybe give some insight into what we do. I also intend to include some discussion about current changes in medical practice and the NHS from my insider’s perspective.

Anaesthesia is a fascinating area of practice. There is no other walk of life where one can render folk unconscious, stop them breathing and stick sharp implements into them hoping to hit vital structures without being arrested. And add to this the ‘victim’ is usually grateful afterwards. It is a direct application of the physiology and pharmacology we spent hours hearing about in dusty lecture theatre’s from even dustier lecturers, sneaking glances at the social scientists frolicking in the summer sun outside.

Anaesthesia is the rendering of a person unaware of their surroundings, inured to pain and not moving. It is this last bit that allows the surgeons to do their work far more effectively than they used to be able to achieve with half a bottle of rum, some laudanum and a leather strap to bight on. In this way it has allowed surgery to move out of the dark ages and so truly ranks alongside the great medical discoveries such as antibiotics, vaccination and the value of good sanitation.

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