Doctors: The (Dis)Respected Profession #SaveOurNHS #JuniorContracts

Since becoming a doctor, I have been made to feel ashamed of my profession.

Simply answering the question on meeting new people; "And what do you do for a living?" Leaves me clammy handed and dry mouthed. Usually my response is a sigh, followed by hesitantly saying;

"I'm a doctor.'

Then I await one of these responses:

"<silence and awkward shuffle>"

"Oh, so you must be really clever?"

"I've forgot my purse, can you buy the next round?"

"Oh Right.....I just have to go speak to..."

"Well, <guffaw> I've got this rash"

"Oh wow, you said your husband's a doctor"

"You look too young to be a doctor"

"You can afford this, you must earn loads"

"But you don't actually have to go into the hospital to be on-call? You just do it from home, right?"

Whilst I don't mind looking at the rash in question, there's nothing like the tumble weed that flows through room when I'm asked my occupation. The ultimate conversation stopper (apart from saying you are the current health secretary in an NHS hospital staff room).

The silence that assumes you're a snob. That your parents are well off and got you this gig. That of course you always know best. That you think you're better than everyone. That you are now difficult to talk to. That you earn loads, in fact, overpaid. That you are lazy, off most weekends, clocking up your golf hours. Thanks for the last one Jeremy Hunt.

And it's normally based on assumptions that have been fed by the media and now even politicians about doctors.

And you know what, I understand where these come from. Historically doctors were made out to be pompous gits. The (mainly male) doctors chased nurses into linen closets (Carry On films), spent their long lunches on the golf courses avoiding home visits (BBC's doctors) and went home to their fat cat mansions with their massive £100K+ pay packet (Daily Mail: Britain's largest fictitious book on public sector workers). Not to mention the blood boiling scenes in Holby City where the doctors egos are so large they can in fact run not one department single handedly but the entire hospital, including such feats performing as C-section surgery, then resuscitating the baby afterwards and of course finishing their shift at a normal working hour in time to the local for a bevvy.

I can only guess that certain politicians frequent watching these programmes and then rest their arguments on this.