Junior Doctors – Your Life In Their Hands Review: The Battlefield of A&E

JUNIOR DOCTORS – YOUR LIFE IN THEIR HANDS: Tuesday 15th March, BBC3, 9pm

The first few weeks in a new job are always an arduous experience; meeting the seniors, making friends, shouldering new responsibilities. It’s not always a barrel of laughs. Now visualise those awkward experiences and then chuck in a horde of squealing human cattle, whether they be drunken youths, demented pensioners, or tear dribbling children, and they are all waiting to be attended to by your fair hands. Screw that.

Junior Doctors: Your Life In Their Hands – a disconcerting title if there ever was one – is now on its fourth episode as it documents the lives of a group of twenty-something doctors who live and work together in Newcastle. This week’s episode focuses upon Suzi, Andy, Lucy and Adam, each one of the juniors working in different departments of the hospital which range from, A&E, gastro, paediatrics and plastic surgery. They all come across as fairly likeable in their own way, for instance Suzi, the female junior who people don’t always take seriously due to her youthful looks and blonde hair, with colleagues sometimes unfairly calling her Barbie and patients assuming she is a nurse. Andy is another enjoyable character, the Chinese doctor from Hong Kong, who finds it hard to open up socially with the nurses, an obstacle that is scaled the only way the British see fit. Getting him drunk.

Adam is one who doesn’t fare so nicely as he initially comes across as a tad vain, with the introductory line from the narrator being that he has, “high expectations of himself,â€? which is just the conservative way of saying; he’s an arrogant knob. But after some screen-time you find yourself partially warming up to him, despite his belief that growing a beard makes him look like a proper doctor, (does he think doctor is a code word for joining the Jihad?)

As they all come into contact with various situations, a favourite being a toilet brush firmly wedged within a man’s anus – he ‘fell’ on it apparently – you begin to realize that the day to day activities in your job are actually quite acceptable. At least you don’t have to jam needles into the arms of wailing children, unless you’re into that kind of thing, in which case you’re properly face down on your bathroom floor with a toiletry wedged up your orifice. When the episode comes to a close you can’t help but find yourself enlightened with a newfound respectability for the doctors of tomorrow as you exhale a sigh of relief that not studying medicine was the right idea. These junior doctors go through years upon years of training to then find themselves thrown into the fiery pits of the NHS where the patients are as unsympathetic and judgemental as Jason Gardiner on a Saturday night. I’ll stick to experiencing the A&E through the television set and leave it to the poor professionals.

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