Junior Doctor Blog - Dr Salma Aslam

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27 May 2016

Wet Beriberi and ShadeSalma

I must be truthful. Ward rounds aren't always my favourite activity. I would rather be taking blood from someone, or doing ABG- mundane tasks to some, but I'm always satisfied doing them- you can't beat the instant gratification. Anyway before I waffle on further, ward rounds aren't always my favourite clinical activity. Ward rounds after a 12 hour acute medicine night shift are definitely not. Bed- side teaching however, I love. Being one to one with a consultant who meets a patient presenting with a condition, they may have written clinical guidelines on, means you are privy to a dissection of a clerking (which may have been yours), and you learn from an expert about how to be the best. Being awake for so many hours is worth it in these cases.

Being the most junior member of the clinical team, I am always learning and I'm always learning from everyone. There aren't many opportunities for me to teach consultants. On one ward round recently whilst I was being taught about wet beriberi, I taught my consultant the word ‘shade’. Those of you reading this may think that you know what shade is. And you do. But perhaps not the definition of shade I was referring to.

I am talking about the slang definition.

This slang term can be understood as someone putting shade on your light. Say for example, you had published an article and someone commented that they had published 5 other articles that were much better. That's shade.

I have had my own experience with this recently. People were talking about my blog, and articles I had written and it really affected me. To the point where I stopped writing. Those internal feelings that can surface at times, associated with the imposter syndrome, re-surfaced for me and I wonder how many other women have felt this? When you do something that is a bit out of the box and instead of being met with encouragement, you hear negative comments and see shade.

Having never experienced much negativity before, I was initially quite ignorant to it. Now I notice it more. "She's a great surgeon but she doesn't have any children" or "she's too driven, she's not very feminine". Why not just say, "she's a great surgeon" or "she's very driven"?

I think that when people see someone doing something that is a bit out of the ordinary or different they get intimidated and out comes the shade. Or maybe it is a reminder of something they would never have the confidence to do themselves.
For me acknowledgement of that was the first part of healing. Then writing came soon after. As did this article.

The truth is, when you're doing well not everyone is going to clap and worse still, you will see the shade. My advice to anyone experiencing this would be to keep going and do what you're doing. Especially if it is something that brings you joy.

Shine brighter and the clouds will go. They only last so long, but your work will remain.

Dr Salma Aslam is an FY1 Junior Doctor in the North of England. She has a personal blog and enjoys writing alongside her work as a doctor.

Equality Watchdog Warns Junior Doctors' Contract Could be Illegal

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28 April 2016

MWF welcomes the news that the European Human Rights Commission are referring the imposed junior doctor contract to the United Nations. MWF has been in communication with the EHRC seeking their view in the period leading up to this decision.

MWF has repeatedly expressed concern to the Secretary of State and the Department of Health about the discriminatory nature of the contract prior to and since publication of the Equality Analysis on 31st of March. The effect on women doctors in training and others with young children, caring responsibility, disability or ill health will be to force them out of acute medical specialties or medicine altogether.

MWF Centenary Events - Register Your Interest

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21 April 2016

In May 2017 MWF are planning a week of fantastic workshops, lectures, talks, tours and dinners to celebrate our centenary. Please fill out the form below to register your interest for these events 

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  4. New Gender Pay Gap Report from the Women and Equalities Committee
  5. UPDATE: Response from NHS Employers
  6. MWF Statement on the Junior Doctor Contract
  7. Special RSM joining offer for MWF Members!
  8. MWF Now Offers Paperless Direct Debit!
  9. Join us in supporting MWF at the Royal Parks Half Marathon 2016!
  10. Dr Dora Black Interview - MWF Autumn Conference
  11. Jeremy Hunt Letter to MWF
  12. MWF Statement
  13. Building Resilient Leaders - Conference Review
  14. Dorothy Ward International Travel Fellowship - Now Open!
  15. Freedom of Information Request - Response
  16. Update: MWF Respond to Letter From Department of Health
  17. Department of Health's Response to MWF Letter on Junior Doctor Contract Changes
  18. Just one month to go until our Autumn Conference in London!
  19. MWF Attends Screening of Suffragette
  20. Medical Women's Federation Response to Proposed Changes to Junior Doctor Contracts
  21. Challenging the Stereotype of a Surgeon
  22. Coming soon... MWF International Travelling Fellowship
  23. Stepping Up & Speaking Out - Spring Conference Review
  24. Postgraduate Medical Students' Grants - Closed!
  25. ACCEA Clinical Excellence Awards application 2015 open!
  26. Join our Trustee Team on the MWF Council!
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  28. International Women’s Day March 8th 2015
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  30. The White Coat Ceremony
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  36. Project Pipeline: Attracting, Recruiting and Supporting Women
  37. Healthy Doctors: Healthy Patients in review - Autumn Conference 2014
  38. MWIA Northern European Regional Conference, Rungstedgaard, Denmark
  39. Applications for Medical Woman Joint Editor - Join the team!
  40. Nominations for MWF Vice President - Join the team!
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  44. Dr Clarissa Fabre - Report from the World Health Assembly 2014
  45. Welcome Dr Sally Davies MWF President 2014-2016
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  48. President's blog April 2014
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  51. Mature Student Grant Applications 2014 - Open!
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