Welcome to a new year of work!

3 minute read

Relax, breathe. No, put that down. We can get through this together.

You’ve spent the past two weeks walking up and down a beach staring vacantly into rock pools, but oh dear God, now you’re back at work!  

Here are Professor Candid’s five tips for surviving your first day.  

1. Computer login failsafes. On your last day you wrote all your passwords down on a Post-it note and stuck it on your monitor knowing full well you’d never remember your codes when you got back. Aren’t you clever! Hang on a minute though, where’s it gone? I’m sure I stuck it there! Oh shit!  

2. Stifle that impostor syndrome. You suffer from this at the best of times so you’re really going to feel it after two weeks away from the office. Why are these people telling you about their itchy arses? And why do they think you care about their hurty elbows? Is it because you’re a doctor? You may have to get up between patients and slap your face in the mirror to remind yourself that you are still a fully qualified GP and not just some itinerant beach bum who specialises in staring at rock pools.  

3. Keep it simple. If a patient presents with a funny rash that gets worse in the sun don’t go diagnosing them with prophyria cutanea tarda. No! Prescribe them some hydrocortisone cream and ask them to come back if it doesn’t get any better. The last thing you want on your first day is too many intelligent thoughts. Remember: intelligent thoughts after a holiday can be harmful.  

4. Pigeon hole avoidance. The pigeon hole is the office equivalent of a deep, dank well, craftily camouflaged with bamboo containing sharpened spikes. Give it a wide berth. If you get caught in your pigeon hole you won’t be able to leave the practice until at least 7pm. You have been warned!   

5. Inbox evasion. Your inbox of unread results will be as long as your arm after two weeks away and everyone’s either come down with covid, has an INR over 9 or gone into acute renal failure. When you realise you’re not going to be out of the door any time soon and the existential dread kicks in, just relax, breathe and pretend you’re back at the beach, staring listlessly into rock pools.  

6. Read the stack of holiday postcards from your patients instead – that’ll cheer you up! Here are a few of Professor Candid’s:  

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