........................ I'm working in a bad unit, in terms of training, cutting, consultant support and being bullied. Its a service orientated DGH and Im in my first job. The other SHOs and even SpRs are competititve and I dont have many friends here. I want to leave but cant find another job. Should I resign whilst continuiong to look for another job? My cv isnt that great. Please help.

- September 10, 2004 at 22:15:34 by jojo

I'm totally sympathetic with you. I was in exactly the same position but not willing to divulge the unit's name. I did resign and I agree with Kate that it would look messy on your 
CV. However, I managed to get a job 3 months later. My 'bad' unit depressed me as I didn;t perform well in interviews, unmotivated and didn;t think I was in the right frame of mind to sit for an exam. 

My advice: find a reference in that Unit; however bad there are...there'll be one consultant that might give you a neutral reference. Then, get out of there by taking the next suitable available job. See if you can bite the bullet for the next few weeks. Resigning needs 1 month notice anyway! 

You are not alone!
- Eye King

Very bad situation indeed - I know exactly what it feels like ( have been through it). I can suggest the following: 

  • Take your time: things are likely to improve with time. 
  • You must know ur rights: the RCOphth recommends 3 gen clinics (max), 2 casualty clinics (max), 2 theatre sessions (at least 1 protected session/ and in each session u must have at least 40 minutes of activity either in the form of participation in all cases or 1 complete independant case). Read the guide for BST in Ophth by RCOphth. 
  • If you have previous experience in Ophth cutting, dont bother 
  • You will get to do loads and loads. 
  • Talk to your educational supervisor. did u have ur first appraisal? set objective targets like audits, surgery, exams etc. 
  • Learn to say NO politely (The British way) 
  • Keep looking for a better job. I would not recommend resigning as I know how difficult it is to get one. Consider yourself lucky that u have a job at all and dont forget those who are still looking for their first breakthrough. 
- Take your time

I am really sorry to hear of your situation. Sounds bad. Is there really no one in your department who is ok? Can you talk to anyone? 

Although, you feel like doing so, I wouldn't resign from any job, whatever the speciality. It will look messy on your cv, and why should you be the one to pay for their failings. 

If this is your first job (Started in Aug, right?), then it is unlikely you will get another one right now. But you can aim to get into another unit for Feb. For goodness sake, just do an audit, a presentation (ask you PG centre if you can present something at the next grand round), try and get your Part 1 or even better Part 2, and then you will have a good chance of getting a job elsewhere. 

I wouldn't stay anywhere for more than 6 months where you are not getting cutting exp, even if it is your 1st job. I made that mistake, and it is not an ideal situation, and may haunt you in the future. 

Get as much as you can out of your current post. Go on courses, meetings and that way you once again enhance your cv, and it's time away from your nasty hospital. 

One thing I would say though is, it is still early days. If you just started in Aug, then it may just be the adjustment to a completely different type of spec is all that is needed. I am sure you are trying your best, but do give it another chance, and you might find some glimmer of hope there. 

Get to know the SpRs better, as you may be able to do some research with them, and in my experience they are enormous source of support and good times. They are more on your level than consultants, but they are at a high enough level to be a positive influence on your career development. It was a reg who taught me phaco, not any of my consultants, and I will be eternally grateful to him. Another 2 regs put my name on papers they wrote, even though my input was minimal. They saw I was a decent sort of person, and wanted to help me get on. So just be on the lookout for more opportunities even if at first it seems dire.

Consider yourself lucky to have a job while others are looking for one. Sometimes a unit is bad because you are not making the best use of your stay there. In term of training, have you asked your consultant to get weekly tutorials etc or attend the regional teaching session? A lot of NHS consultants are not so interested in the progress of SHOs that is true in most units and yours would not be the only one. I have problems with a few units I worked in before, but I still managed to get two case reports out with my own initiative. What you have to do is to look for interesting cases or studies, write it up and show it to the consultant who has the slightest interest compared with others. As being bullied, you are adult enough to stand your ground. You can refuse to be bullied by declining unreasonable requests and mention that works need to be shared. Regarding surgery, most consultants are worried about complications and you can go for microsurgery couse organised by the college or attend phaco course organised in your region. Talk to your friends in other units, head of the department or your SpR to find out how you can improve your CV. You will find life is not that bad.

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