It’s (a bit) about the money


Here’s the thing.

Last year, I spent more on clinical training than I did on my mortgage.

Last year was a quiet year.  (I’ve been trying to concentrate on the PhD).  It was about 1/3 less than 2014 where I got a bit carried away and thought that I could do a PhD and spend the time learning medicine.

It definitely wasn’t as expensive as the 2009 – 2012  period when I was preparing for exams, buying revision books, and paying for online and face-to-face courses just so that I could progress to the next level of training. (Total cost = around £5000.  I was lucky)  Oh, and paying for the MSc (£10,000).  Plus all the usual costs of training and courses.

It’s a rough ball-park, but even if I use my “quiet” year as a guide, I’ve spent at least £44,000 on post-graduate education.

You could argue that it’s my choice to do this.  And it is.  Nobody made me do a MSc (it’s just kind of important before you attempt a PhD).  Nobody made me do post-graduate exams (except that Membership of a Royal College is a pre-requisite for progression to being a registrar).

Learning about the neuro-psychological impact of cancer treatment isn’t in my mandatory training (unlike learning that fires really, really like oxygen) – but I think it’s kind of important to understand so that I know what questions to ask families when they come back to late-effects clinic.  It’s apparently not essential that I learn about end of life care (although it bloody should be), but what kind of service would I provide to families if I didn’t?

I love my job. And I don’t think that I will walk away from it.  (Last week I got given a Starburst by a patient and I was told to eat it.  My job is fantastic)

But I am starting to think if I am going to continue to invest in my job rather than my life.  I’m wondering if it’s really more important to constantly try and improve my practice, or if maybe I can stay in something more upmarket than a Travelodge occasionally.  If perhaps it would be nice if I had the kind of house where two people could fit in the kitchen at once.

I spent more on my training than I did on my mortgage.