My first time seeing a dying patient felt surreal

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

One of the things all the newbie doctors were dreading was being put on a weekend shift or night shift so close to starting because that’s when things became very, very real.

And that’s what happened to me. So soon after qualifying, I was set to have a weekend 3-night stint which meant all the medical wards that were covered by several teams of medical staff during the day, I was now covering on my own. …

Take these lessons into 2021.

Photo by Anshu A on Unsplash

2020 hit differently in a way that was truly unique. The buzzword of the year has to be unprecedented, as in, we used the word an unprecedented amount over the last 12 months. But with all the time spent indoors, there was ample opportunity for introspection and reflection. These are some of my insights from the year of COVID.

Security is an illusion.

2020 showed how exposed and vulnerable we are as humans. It didn’t take much to tip the balance between order and chaos. Our routines were interrupted and for a time the only constant was confusion. Many people lost their jobs and…

We’re only human

Photo by Cedric Fauntleroy from Pexels

I remember one particular patient I looked after back when I first started as a doctor. It was on a specialty ward but we were used to having an overspill of “general medical” patients when the hospital was under pressure.

This patient had a long extended admission which can sometimes happen in hospital. People come in for one thing, then we find something else, or they become even more unwell due to the environment they’re in.

It was one thing after another. Every time we tried to fix one problem, something else would happen. …

Michelle Obama learned this the hard way

Photo by Mike Marrah on Unsplash

About 6 months into listening to Michelle Obama’s book, Becoming on Audible, I reached the part where Barack Obama has been elected as President of the USA and they’ve both been invited to Buckingham Palace to meet Queen Elizabeth II. They had a private audience first, then later spent time with all the other world leaders ahead of the G20 summit.

Then something takes place. Michelle does something so inconsequential but apparently so shocking that it’s picked up with frenzy by the British media. Whilst standing beside the Queen, Michelle Obama raises her left hand and in slow motion brings…

One antidote to writer’s block

Photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash

I was watching a short 3-minute clip from Tim Ferriss’s interview with Neil Gaiman about Neil’s writing routine. In the video, he mentions something about his writing process that I found really enlightening.

When it’s time to write, Neil explains how he heads down to his gazebo at the bottom of the garden, and whilst he is there he has one rule. His rule is that he either writes something or does nothing at all.

“All I’m allowed to do is nothing or write.”

It’s interesting to think of Neil Gaiman sitting down at a desk and being unable to…

Superbugs in public spaces

Photo by Hello Lightbulb on Unsplash

Lockdown is officially easing. And as Londoners and the rest of the UK blink into the Spring sunlight, it’s important that we don’t allow our newfound freedom to make us forget everything we’ve learned.

There’s not been a time in recent history where we as a society have focused so much on hand-washing as we have with the arrival of COVID-19. As a doctor, I am uniquely placed to understand the importance of hand hygiene especially since medical training really drums in how much of an impact it has on patient care.

But regardless of this, everyone should be practicing…

Cut through analysis paralysis.

Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash

Making tough decisions is a headache. There’s always this fear of making the “wrong” choice and then 20 years down the line thinking “I wish I chose the other option”. Because that’s what it comes down to isn’t it, we want to make the “right” choice. But when we look at tough decisions that way then it’s really no wonder why we fall into analysis paralysis.

Here are 5 tools that you can use to cut your deliberating time by half, so you can spend less time pondering and more time just getting on with stuff.

In no particular order…

Help needed: my crush followed me back on Instagram

Photo by Austrian National Library on Unsplash

My crush followed me back on Instagram.

At a time like this where my romantic life is as dry as the Sahara Desert, this is the sign that I’ve been waiting for. It’s like the first drop of rain after a drought and I’m hoping for a downpour. But I shan’t move too quickly lest I jinx it and my good fortune is taken away from me.

Of course, he’s tall and handsome and as far as I can tell, has an amazing personality. I mean that’s what I’m assuming. …

When we miss this, we keep missing it.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

How often do we make lists of everything we want to achieve and then have those things not materialize? Instead of looking at what we could have done better we simply push it all onto the following year and the cycle begins again. 2017 becomes 2018, then 2019, then 2020. Year on year the goals stay the same, bar a few changes. Very occasionally, we actually manage to tick off a few low-ticket items, and the rest, the big ones, continue to stay out of our reach.

Unfortunately for us, writing things down doesn’t necessarily guarantee achievement. We’ve done step…

And I don’t know how to figure it out

Photo by Gatis Murnieks on Unsplash

“Just heading out to get some tomato sauce.”

“But we’ve got some. Check the back of the cupboards.”

“Nope. Looked already,” I say pulling the collar of my coat down, “I won’t be long.”

I head out to the car, open the door and drop into the driver’s seat with a sigh. I’m sitting awkwardly because of the object in my left back pocket, so I tilt to the right and pull the glass jar free.

I look at the label, Best Italian Tomato Sauce, and throw it onto the seat next to me before driving out of the driveway…

Zed Bee

I’m a former doctor turned writer/content creator. I write topics on self-help, lifestyle, and the weird and wonderful. My website:

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store