am currently an f2 within the South Thames deanery. I did my f1 at Lewisham hospital and am doing my f2 at Hastings hospital part of the east Sussex nhs healthcare trust at the moment.
My experience as an F1 at lewisham was overalls really good. In terms of induction we had 4-5 days that were lecture based and 3 days shadowing. All of this is a bit of a blur and while there was definitely some good information it was all a bit of an overload. The most useful thing was the shadowing. I chose a rotation combining acute general medicine, trauma and orthopaedics and elderly care. This was a pretty standard f1 combination.
I started on acute medicine, lewisham is an interesting hospital in terms of the medical teams as it is no a ward based but a take based system. There were three f1s put on a team (Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday) each team was divided under two different consultants one f1 under each and a float f1 to go with the busier team. We all took turns being the float over the four months. There were also two SHOs under each team.
For example I was on wednesday team under a specific consultant - every two weeks your consultant would be on call (my team every other Wednesday) and from that day all the patients who came in under the medical take would become your patients, they were then distributed throughout the hospital on different wards and would remain yours for their stay.
There were pros and cons to this, post take days would be manic with up to 50 new patients on your list and probably 10-15 left over from previous takes. All of them would be on different wards so you would be running all over the hospital doing jobs and ttos and it's also quite stressful for the nurses as they are ward based and have several different medical teams to deal with. Then over the two weeks you gradually discharge patients and do it all over again! The pro is that there are troughs with less patients when you are less busy. Overall this is a very very busy medical job and the bad side is you often had to work long hours past your contracted ones with lots of sick patients especially post take. The good side is that I learned loads, the quality of registrars and SHOs was brilliant and you had lots of opportunity to do procedures and saw a huge variety of patients with different acute medical problems.
I went on to do trauma and orthopaedics which was much less busy and working much more sociable hours. The registrars and consultants were friendly but we did often feel a lack of senior support- feeling like the most senior medical members of our team. This was in part due to some poor quality locum SHOs. Overalls the orthopaedic job was enjoyable, we were always encouraged to come to theatre and had a manageable amount of patients. We were also encouraged to actively participate in audits and had the time to do this compared to when I was doing my acute medical job.
Lastly I did an elderly care job, which unlike my medical job was ward based and this made a huge difference. We had 28 patients with me as two SHOs. Our registrars were brilliant and really supportive. The job was busy with some very unwell patients but it was manageable and we almost always left on time. I really enjoyed this rotation. It was also nice to be ward based as we got to know the members of the MDT much better.
Overall as I said I really enjoyed my time in Lewisham and I feel like I learned so much. The quality of y seniors was brilliant and they were all very supportive. All the consultants I worked with were very friendly and approachable. Lewisham has the benefit of being a DGH with a friendly atmosphere, but a London DGH so generally very busy with a broad cohort of patients. The downside of Lewisham is really how busy it is, especially in the general medical job with a regular expectation of the juniors to work longer than contracted hours. The four months really was an exhausting experience. The take system can also be confusing to begin with but you soon get a hold of that once you've done it a few times. We also had to work 12 days straight when working a weekend.
Socially Lewisham was brilliant, everyone I worked with from f1s to registrars were very sociable. There were lots of mess events and socials and a pub on site where people often went after work. Being based in London there were also mess events in Central London locations which were really fun.