Many firsts are unremarkable, but some have a lifelong impact.
London, October 1993: I took my first steps as an advanced trainee in gastroenterology at King’s College Hospital Institute of Liver Studies . . . and by the end of only my second day, I had become the “experienced” liver registrar and was deemed “ready” to take over the care of an eight-bed liver intensive care unit (ICU). As 5 pm approached, a sense of anxiety settled on me. I had spent 6 months as a mostly overwhelmed ICU resident at a large London teaching hospital, but I was hardly an expert in intensive care, let alone liver intensive care. With extreme ease, the liver ICU day-registrar conducted the handover and provided me with all I needed to know for my first night, scribbled onto a small piece of paper. I was then alone, albeit with six patients, the highly experienced nurses and a very capable gastroenterology senior registrar at home should I need her.
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