Dear Me- A Letter to my ST1 Self-

by Dr Katy Smith

Dear ST1 self


Congratulations on getting a paediatric training post. It’s a real privilege so make the most of it. You’ve only just got your head around adult medicine so no one expects you to know everything. All they ask is that you are enthusiastic and vaguely sensible. I’m really not being patronising when I say it’ll all be fine.

Throw yourself in! I know it seems a long way off, but one day you’ll be the registrar on call and the more experience you have the better. Try that cannula on the ‘oh so tiny’ baby or have a go at intubation. What’s the worst that could happen? You miss?! Your registrar will have your back.

Ask questions! There is no question too stupid and no-one (worthwhile) will judge. Don’t discount your own knowledge or experience either. If you don’t agree with

a patient’s management, question it, diplomatically of course! You’ll regret it if you don’t.

Get involved in projects you are passionate about. Don’t waste your time doing audits you don’t give a monkey’s about that don’t benefit anyone.The rotas can be tough and at times you may feel more tired then you could have imagined. Take the time to look after yourself! Get outside and feel the sunshine at every opportunity. Make the effort to swap your shifts to attend that important family birthday or catch up with friends. Form relationships with your colleagues, both nursing and medical. On the shift from hell, it’s these people who will

make it bearable and provide tea and friendship in abundance.

Finally, at times you may be exhausted and fed up. Don’t self pity, it’s kind of irrelevant when you’ve got an unwell child in front of you. Their needs are paramount. Luckily the rewards are endless and even on the busiest, most stressful night shift, they’ll do something hilarious and you’ll surprise yourself with a smile!



Katy xxx

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