Sunday, February 3, 2013
Many people ask me, when I tell them that I have retired from Psychiatry, and taken my pension they look at me, see that I am young and wonder. They ask me will I ever go back? Would I ever go back, when I am better or when I feel upto it? They cannot quite understand why I would throw away a job, which in their eyes is a solid horse, paying £40 50 60 thousand a year, and with a supposedly gold plated pension at the young age of 43. I will explain it like this. First of all, we are brought up as children by our parents and our teachers to be good honest hardworking souls, we are taught the respect of the law, the adherence to truth rather than lies. A recent BBC newscast had me in stitches when I could hear the tension in the voice as the newsreader calmly proclaimed that we had the lowest petrol prices in Europe. We are told that lies are nasty dangerous things, and all through our school life to be honest with our teachers, we are taught the values of morality, self respect and being free, to voice our honest opinions and views freely in our so called Western Democracy. Well it seems that as soon as you start work in the NHS you get muzzled or taught to spread lies and propaganda. You are told that you cannot say anything about your work to the press the media or anyone else. You are given lies to work with, policies that force you to lie because your job depends on it or you will face disciplinary procedures, you are bullied, you are shown what happens to people who break ranks and how much they get vilified, by losing their job, their cars, their families and sometimes the ultimate sacrifice when they go and kill themselves because life didn't promise what they were taught about in the education system. Its not just the NHS, the television news is controlled, and regulated ( why else would I have heard the tension in the newscasters voice struggling to please his masters, by telling an out and out lie) one that even he had trouble believing? Our Prime Ministers lie to us, Tony Blair being a prime example even his nickname Bliar being a valid representation of his litany of lies, and then he announces he wants to become Roman Catholic . Is the confessional his portrait in the attic? The second reason is the one of the most important reasons why most people go to work. Money, people can't quite fathom why I would turn down £60000 for pushing a pen, tapping at a computer and delivering patent pharmaceutical drugs, which are quite dangerous, to an unsuspecting psychiatric population? The answer is quite simple, My freedom, At work I would be a Lab rat in a Gilded cage, if I step out of line my salary can be stopped, or I can be suspended without pay. I am a good diagnostician and I prefer to treat people and to treat the root cause of their problems and not just throw pharmaceutical snake oil at their symptoms and reduce those whilst not being able to treat the root cause because of policy guidelines, prescribing guidelines and the wrath of the line manager whose job it is to make sure that any kind of embarrassment which would show British society is at risk, is firmly and quickly buried under a large heavy persian rug for eternity. I have been referred to the GMC for prescribing vitamins to those in need of those because they do not despite government propaganda or food manufacturers propaganda /advertising, get the nutrients that we all need to have healthy cellular function of their bodies. You would think that the GMC would only go after those doctors who had purposely neglected their patients health, or killed someone or who had had sex with a patient or who had interfered with the legal process or got themselves as patients beneficiaries NO... they are there to make sure that the lid stays tight on the lie machine that churns out rubbish everyday on your television masquerading as good health advice. Getting back to the money situation. You may think that £60000 would cover any kind of problems and stuff my mouth with gold so that I didn't need to speak . Taxes national insurance and pension contributions, eat 50% of that at source So you are then left with £34000, out of which you have to pay ever increasing mortgage payments to live in that £300000 family house, with four bedrooms and a garage, feed and clothe your wife and two babes, afford the ever increasing rates of fuel duty and VAT. Most of the items that come in a packet or are classed as processed foods, biscuits etc are subject to 20% VAT so all that money goes straight back to the government. On top of that you have to have social life, cinema, excursions, high end quality electrical goods, You can't live in a two bedroom flat in the worst end of town or your patients will be at your door day and night pestering you. You need to be near good schools, and they cost too. Schools are always asking parents to put their hands in their pockets. On top of that you have to have decent work clothes, ties, suits, trousers, a decent watch on your wrist so that nobody mistakes you for a junior doctor, and treats you accordingly. Your wife will beg you for the latest hair styles, and the latest costume jewellery and fashions, if she does not work at her own job, and will take your money and spend it. There is then the question of paying for two cars, one a family car and one your work car, which in order not to be teased in the Doctors mess has to be a reasonably newish car with no dents, dings or broken wing mirrors. The expectations of others for you to conform are legion. Even for the gay doctors, there are other demands on their money and time. So what do you end up with at the end of the day to spend on yourself that is your money that is not going to go back to the government in the form of VAT hidden taxes on booze cigarettes, pub nights out In other words spare cash? About £1000 a month. Which most people cannot save. A family of four will inevitably spend over £300 pounds a week on food and petrol/diesel alone to eat reasonably and to be able to commute to work for both partners if they do both work If you are on your own that decreases somewhat but its still not that much when you consider the Gross figure of £60000. You are left with 20% Is that worth it? I have been stressed to the nth degree in medicine, jumping through those hoops like a demented rabbit, and being shocked ( taser-like) if I stray from the prepared path. If I were to go back the amount of paperwork and red tape and bureaucracy I would have to face would be like me trying to type a letter with both hands tied behind my back. Slavery is defined as taking 100% of a persons output ie their salary, Living in Britain today the government takes 75%, one way or another unless you subsist on fresh vegetables and meat and cook for yourself. Utility bills have VAT, and the prices are invariably rising year on year out. That mops up another 1000 pounds a year for the average household who like to have the house warm and toasty in the winter months. So why is taking 75% ok but 100% is not ok? A 3/4 slave is not what I had imagined my life to be like. I was going to practice Medicine a high art and highly individualistic discipline because everyone who comes to you to be treated is a different unique person, and one size does not fit all. I cannot fathom the reason why I would want to go back to being a 3/4 slave, losing the daylight hours of my life for the next 24 years as they would not allow most people to retire until the age of 67, and face the stress of having the GMC at my back should I step out of line, having them cyberstalk this blog among others,that they stalk on a regular basis and print out. Would you having read that want to actually go back. It used to be that the so called gold plated pension was the big carrot. Well that has changed the pension is no longer like that, the government says it cant afford it ( but they can afford a costly war in Afghanistan). The fact is I invested wisely when I was in work and I don't actually have to work to make a living. I'm not rich by any sense of current values and I certainly do not have 50-60 grand a year coming in so I'm classified as unemployed/unemployable as my Chronic fatigue has destroyed any chance of doing a 9-5 commutable office type job. Its not the job that would tire me out Its the commute. I go for days on end not going out of the house, when I do go out I make sure I enjoy it. So knowing the reasons why can you the reader understand why I would never ever return to work? Do you think I like this situation? It means I can get a life, I can be who and what I want to be. My hobbies and passions have always taken a back seat to Medicine and they need not do so any longer. I am free and I can live my life the way I see fit and that to me is worth more than money in the bank or a fancy car or a big house. My time is my own, I do not have to run around in the rat race and I can spectate from the sidelines. I can go to the Museums in London on the weekdays, out of season and have the place to myself. I can go to the theatre and watch a production maybe once a week, The broadband I have allows me to stream whatever kind of television show, without adverts into my living room. I can pause it at will and take my own breaks. I can sleep late any day I wish, I can go to bed at any time I wish, I can read a book in the sunshine in May during a weekday in a park and no one will say to me why are you not at work. I can cook delicious meals from scratch, going to Borough market and getting the freshest produce in the mornings, I can go to Smithfields at 3am in the morning and get delicious cuts of meat, and I can then go home stuff it in the fridge and go to sleep and get up when I want to. Frankly I get a lot for giving up £12000 extra a year. I can go abroad at any time I like Out of season, at the cheapest fare, unfortunately at present I have to pay the single supplement but no matter. Due to the nature of my new income I can live anywhere in the world and I can follow my heart and my prospective partner wherever he is, and be at their side to help and support them through the inevitable stress of being in a rat race. You won't catch me in a hospital anytime soon unless I'm a patient there. Even the nurses were surprised recently when I had a small routine operation when I got up from bed two hours post op to go to the toilet. They said you're not supposed to just wander off to the toilet like that. Why not Who the hell has the right to tell an adult doctor with a medical degree what he can or cannot do as an inpatient over night? Understand this. I am much more happy now than I have ever been, since I left University. I have the same freedom as at University and I intend to enjoy it fully. So if anyone ever asks me Do you think you'll ever go back to Medicine I can point them to this link and have them read it. They will understand and possibly feel quite jealous but then again thats their problem not mine.