I'm definitely in the wrong job! One of my patients today told me he climbs up wind turbines for a living. Ok, so I belatedly realised he climbs up ladders on the inside rather than swarming up the outside, palm tree style - but since he then told me he climbs out on the windmill arms I remain deeply envious!
Other jobs that I wouldn't be so keen on however include cruise shop doctor. I imagine the job to involve an awful lot of indigestion masquerading as heart attacks interspersed with a few heart attacks masquerading as indigestion. I know some of the ships are amazingly sophisticated, and even have HDU facilities - but then again they also have morgues...
Most of the (healthcare) world gets a winter crisis and a summer lull. Here in Orkney, however, summer brings tourists and those cruise ships, and the hospital is of course a well known tourist destination.
Fred (obviously not his real name) came from a ship with 200 passengers and 200 crew (our biggest visitor carried about 4500, nearly half the population of the main town), and was brought to the department by the ship's doctor. Fred was easily sorted; the doctor invited us to come on board next time he was in town (I wonder if he ever followed up on that?!) and also asked if there were any jobs going in the hospital. So we must have done something right.
Josephine (also a random alias) got a food bolus stuck in her throat at the evening meal, and arrived with us about an hour before the ship was due to leave. The consultant agreed to endoscopy; I explained to the patient that she wouldn't make the sailing but we'd get her to the next port of call; and I left work for the night.
Turns out we're not the only nice people in the universe - following successful endoscopy she'd made it back to the ship after all, as the captain had delayed sailing for just over an hour to get her back on board! Sometimes it's great to be wrong.
Dr Alison Lievesley, GPST1, Orkney