This blog relates to my experience with GMMH as a Foundation Year 2 (FY2) Doctor and my reflections on placements with different mental health teams at Royal Bolton Hospital. I discuss the positives of working in this environment; the support provided and the opportunities to develop your clinical skills whilst helping those in need.
By Dr Joshua Withers, 26
Rotational Doctor for the Royal Bolton Hospital (Rivington Unit), Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
Josh completed his undergraduate medical degree in 2020 from Manchester University and is now on a two year Foundation Training programme. #choosepsychiatry
I selected this track, which included psychiatry, as this has always been a field that has interested me. It is an ever-changing dynamic area that has so many opportunities for developing clinical skills and research.
Psychiatry is such a wide field – during my training I was exposed to a wide variety of subspecialties such as medium security, brain injury, outpatient and inpatient. During my time at GMMH I was with the liaison service, which I thoroughly enjoyed. That is the main appeal of mental health – every day is different and challenges you in an amazing way.
My role would consist of assessing new patients referred to us from the Royal Bolton Hospital site either on the ward or in A&E. I would then liaise with the team and make decisions regarding their care – do they need admission? Do they need drug and alcohol services? Would medication be appropriate? I was well supported within the team and never struggled for support from a friendly face. I would support medical wards in their management of psychiatric patients – providing advice on pharmacological and behavioral management techniques.
“The team and senior staff will always support you if you’re in need.”
The best parts of the job for me are the patients and the staff. I worked with one of the most supportive welcoming teams of my career. I could look to them for support with any issue, and all issues were tackled together. Furthermore, they made the job enjoyable – every day was both productive and fun.
Patients are the other key facet of the job for me. Helping those in need is one of the best rewards a clinician can hope for. Mental health patients can be so under-represented and it was an honour to represent and advocate for this population that cannot always do this for themselves.
For me the one key piece of advice that I cannot advocate enough is when struggling do not do it alone. Any colleague can offer critical insight into a problem and may assist or even resolve the problem for you. Mental health is a team sport! And it has been excellent having an amazing team.
I enjoy a number of activities outside of work that I have been able to keep with easily whilst working at GMMH. I like to travel – particularly around Europe. I also love doing exercise (strange!) and usually attend the gym four days a week. But mainly spending time with friends and family are my mainstay.