My name is Becca. I’m a new junior doctor in the North West with an interest in disaster management.
As we face this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic together, this blog aims to share my personal experience embarking on life as a doctor in such uncertain times. I’ll also be throwing in a few nuggets of disaster theory to help cave any lockdown boredom!
Discovering Disaster Management:
In 2017, I took a year out of medicine to study MSc International Disaster Management at the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (UoM).
It was a fantastic opportunity to learn about the theory and practice of disaster management, and to meet the people shaping the field. This culminated in a research project exploring how medical students learn about asylum seeker and refugee healthcare.
An Abrupt End to Med School:
On 17th March 2020, final year med students at UoM received an email informing us that it is now unsafe to continue with placement. Those of us that passed our final exams in January progressed to graduation.
A Strange Start:
With growing pressure on the NHS, graduating medical students were offered the opportunity to work in the new role of interim foundation doctor. This aimed to free up more experienced doctors to move into COVID areas. I undertook a post in orthopaedic surgery at a hospital in Greater Manchester.
Life in Liverpool:
After 6 years in Manchester, I decided it was time for a change and have now moved to Liverpool to start my foundation years! It has been an exciting time meeting lots of lovely new people and exploring a new city.
Recent Blog Posts
Following Boris Johnson’s promise of a more resilient future in yesterday’s speech, I thought that now would be a good time to unpack the meaning of resilience. During the pandemic, the term has been ubiquitous in political and media landscapes. Has its overuse rendered it meaningless? Or does its diluted meaning strategically obscure wider issuesContinue reading “#7 The Politicisation of Resilience: Why We Shouldn’t Bounce Back”
A Strange Start: When I envisioned the start of my career in medicine, I did not think that it would play out amidst a global pandemic. In February, we were told by our medical school that it would not be possible for our last few months of placement to go ahead. Fast-forward a few monthsContinue reading “#6 Reflecting on My Time as an Interim Foundation Doctor”
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the concept of vulnerability has played an increasing role in our discourse. Phrases like ‘the vulnerable’, ‘vulnerable groups’, and ‘the most vulnerable in society’ capture our attention in many a headline and daily briefing. But what impact does this vague use of the word have on our ideas about vulnerability? AsContinue reading “#5 The Politics of Vulnerability”
During lockdown, I’ve had the opportunity to read some of those books that have been sitting on my shelf/ Amazon wish list for longer than I would like to admit! In this post, I’ll briefly share my thoughts on a few of these books and what I have learnt from them in the context ofContinue reading “#4 Some Interesting Lockdown Reads”
Are we looking through the wrong end of the microscope? This week I have had several conversations with friends working in education that have shocked me. They told me numerous stories of the hardships they are observing in their roles during the pandemic: families increasingly reliant on food vouchers to survive, heightened financial pressures onContinue reading “#3 The Gendered Dimensions of Disaster”
Welcome back! As mentioned in my previous post, this blog will be introducing a snippet of disaster theory, and placing it in the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic. In this post, we will be talking about models – no, I do not mean the ones on Instagram. Models of disaster management. Modelling Disasters: WhatContinue reading “#2 The Disaster Cycle”
With the COVID-19 pandemic unfolding before our eyes, I wanted to take this opportunity to share a little bit of what I have learned from studying medicine and disasters. I don’t promise to be an expert (MASSIVE understatement), but it might just help you pass the time in self-isolation or give you a chuckle. SoContinue reading “#1 A bit of disaster theory.”
Where medicine meets disaster theory.
All opinions expressed in this blog are my own, and not the views of my University or any affiliated institution.