The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it. You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache

Friday, 15 May 2009


How often misused words generate misleading thoughts.

The Independent, a paper that I regularly read and admire, has published this article entitled Starting salaries: What the future holds. The article compare graduate earnings and goes to say:

"It should come as no surprise that vocational degrees give graduates the greatest employment opportunities. Medicine and dentistry have the highest rates of employment – 87 and 83 per cent of students respectively go straight into work and earn more than other graduates. Medics start on a salary of £30,492 ..."

Which makes graduate doctors the heighest earners of all professionals! Of course this is not true as F1 doctors in reality earn way below the national average! Hence, this is misleading article as graduate F1 doctors start on a basic salary of £21k and a few pence and that is it! Those who reach the £30K mark have to work overtime for the extra money, which of course, anybody could do anywhere to earn extra money! Even this extra overtime is no longer guaranteed, hence, the terms 'banded' and 'unbanded' to mean one 'with' and another 'without' overtime.

Therefore, for an 'unbanded' graduate doctor, and after a life long of continuous hard work and record of excellence and achievement followed by 6 years studying the tough and fully cramped science as well as art of medicine AND integrating yet another science degree at perhaps a 1st or 2:1 at first attempt and taking only one year to complete, the reward is then the most notorious, most despicable, most disgraced pay of £21k, full stop!

That £30k figure is for pay inclusive of 40-50% overtime. Of course, come August 2009, when the European Working Time Directive is fully implemented, no junior doctor will be able to work more than 48 hours per week, hence this 'banded' scenario will also end unless Britain opts out of the directive meaning, all juniors will only be earning a figure roughly the same as their basic pay .. and no perks! ..

This will apply to all juniors and not just the newly graduated F1s.

Not only that, but recently, the 'luxury' of having a 'room' in the hospital was removed from the F1s, meaning they now have to pay around £5000 +++ to hire a private room elsewhere for the F1 year! This, in effect, means at least a 20% ++ cut in real earnings! Not forgetting of course, that young doctors are REQUIRED to register with professional bodies as well as take tests to prove they are 'always' striving to 'continue their professional development' or lose 'it'; their career .. forever! ..

Young doctors should get trained to eat 'peanuts' only .. because that's all they're getting .. and all they can afford!

Then you read that an 'economy' graduate earns £24,466, approx £3,000 more than an F1 doctor! This £24k figure is also the national average for graduate earnings! .. and only after 3 years of 'light' study for many! Those graduates may even be on £50K plus by the time they are of the same age as a graduate doctor because of the extra time it takes for the rigour of medicine to be learned! .. then 'some' of the economy graduates, for example, or the lucky 'ex-perts', do go on to do wonderful things in their careers too .. and can aspire to the most handsome of pensions! .. this one in the link doesn't even have the degree .. or so I think ...

And much as I like as well as respect The Independent, I am sure the paper meant to publish basic graduate pay across all professions and not a pay that includes 40 -50% overtime as it did when it published the earnings of a newly graduated medic. To allow it's readers proper and accurate comparison, the paper should be uniform in publishing such information to indicate the basic pay only without overtime additions because anyone can work extra hours to boost their income. Hence, I believe the paper has made a mistake that should and must be corrected.

The Independent, or any media, has a duty to check the information it prints before it publishes what can, in effect, be a deciding factor for many aspiring youngsters when choosing a future career. Medicine is indeed a calling, but doctors do still have to eat, have a roof over their heads and have families too .. like the rest of us. But, they are currently grossly underpaid in comparison to most other professions ...

I hope the paper will now correct this misleading information about the F1 junior doctor pay as well as highlight this injustice.

IMO, young doctors are 'intelligent', some can even be described as 'genius'! BUT, they are 'wet behind the ears' and work in a monopoly on which they also depend on for their training, which is a must .. and the monopoly knows that! So, they don't get the reward they are due .. disgraceful if you also consider the responsibilities they take with this 'our lives in their hands' scenario .. which will never change!

Then again, maybe all youngsters should strive to become MPs ... eeeasy living .. and the 'clever' thing to do too, eh? :-)

Reward achievement and excellence .. reward dedication, integrity and honesty .. if only for the benefit of those whom the young doctors serve .. their patients .. real people with real lives and real livelihoods! ...

Doctors ARE trust worthy after all ... :-)

There are few things more dishonorable than misleading the young.

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