My juniors tell me I’m an inspiration. They tell me that the only reason they have hope is because they can see through me that it is possible – to be a woman, have children and a career in the NHS. They tell me I’m the only reason they think they can keep going. The comments from my recent appraisal included “outstanding” and “one of the best I have ever worked with”.
I’m nearly 40 years old and I have a six-year medical degree, a BSc, an MD and membership of the Royal College of Surgeons. I also have two children, debts which make me sick with worry each month, a marriage which is likely over and a good going stomach ulcer. I work part-time but that involves a 100-mile round trip, three-hour commute and being away from my children for 48 hours every week because I can’t afford to live close enough to the hospital. I work 60 hours a week in order to make my part-time arrangement work.