I need some new shoes

Shoes and I have a long and happy relationship; I am never too fat to buy shoes, heels make me feel taller, they make me look thinner, shoes make me feel better, shoes are pretty, shoes can be fun, shoes are much better than a diamond seeing as sparkly rings are not allowed at work.

Had I been wearing some decent shoes and not my theatre clogs I may have handled a recent row with a radiologist slightly better, seeing as I would have been a taller and more cocky version of me. Sadly I instead ran off near crying with frustration after a run in with the evil little doctor of darkness.

Confidence in my ability to manage my job and the endless decisions I take used to vary in a sine curve fashion, moving around the midline as I made alternating good and bad decisions. Recently in spite of no real fuck up’s (tempting fate here I know) my confidence has been stuck at the bottom of the curve and doesn’t seem to be moving from there. I’m not sure why this is, normally it makes me feel quite down for a week and then the feeling usually passes with a good operation done well. I don’t feel too unhappy despite this current crisis of confidence but the mood isn’t lifting. I’ve had a lucky amount of time off this Christmas and hope that the break will have resulted in a new found surge of confidence, we will see.

I discussed with a more senior female colleague the worries I have about complications and dealing with the range of emotions you experience when an operation goes wrong and even more so when someone dies. She nearly wrestled me to the floor and told me to shut up, lest a man overheard us. She said I should never feel like this, that the boys don’t feel like that and I couldn’t and shouldn’t doubt myself.

I’ve progressed from 12 years ago when I used to lie awake imagining the vessel I had tied off was spurting arterial blood and the patient was exsanguinating as I snored. I’ve progressed from 7 years ago when I used to hover over patient’s beds and check on them repeatedly throughout the day. Now I check for readmissions on the computer of people I may be worried about, operations that were difficult to perform or people that have high risk factors for complications. The relief when the names aren’t there is comforting to me.

So what I think I need, what surely will give me the balls I am currently lacking is some serious kick ass shoes, shoes that say “fucking right I am the surgeon on call, now do what I say and be quick about it”. One of my very junior colleagues has this attitude in spades, she has next to no experience and can’t tell her APER* from an EVAR** but my goodness, she is confidence personified.

Red soles are called for, I feel strongly that red soled shoes were surely made for surgeons and that 120mm is in order. They have beautiful brown suede ones on net-a-porter I keep peeking at, how completely impractical for January in the UK but they somehow say authority and confidence, and I know they’ll fit despite the “mince pie half a stone” I need to lose.

*abdominoperineal excision of rectum
** endovascular aneurysm repair.


6 thoughts on “I need some new shoes

    • It’s short sighted and old fashioned from a hospital medicine point of view. Hardly any female consultants are part time, the trainees are. Trainees are not the future of the service and I’ll be a full time consultant. You shouldn’t read the daily mail, it is bad for you. That’s my professional medical opinion.

  1. I love this! And your colleague is wrong. Boys get bad days too the only difference is they hide better than us! I often have breakdowns (a bit too often perhaps) but fortunately I have two female colleagues to talk to/confide in. Also my current boss (yes a MAN) often tells me that “consultants are just like you, only older”! (and he didnt even differentiate between MEN or WOMEN)

    I shall add red soles to my collection of “need to feel good” shoes…

  2. Hoey you definitely should get a pair of red soled shoes. It’s impossible to feel anything less than amazing in them. Breakdowns are part of being a trainee as long as you can put them behind you and learn from whatever it was that got to you. I am glad you have a good team around you to talk to, it is so important to have that. x

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