Friday, 18 November 2016
How did I end up here?
So why am I here?
It's a good question and I'm not really sure I have a good answer for you.
To go to Antarctica is something I've wanted to do for a long time. Encounters with various Antarctic veterans over the past few years has only added to my desire. Tales of daring escapades in the land of Scott and Shackleton made a 12 hour night shift in A&E seem somewhat mediocre. So in 2011 after 18 months working in New Zealand and no proper job I applied to the British Antarctic Survey Medical Unit in Derriford Hospital, Plymouth. My first attempt was unsuccessful. 'We like you but you need some more experience' was the reply. Fast forward to 2015 - 3 years of training in Emergency Medicine in North London and some exams under my belt I reapplied and got interviewed. Standing on the Platform at Finchley Road Station on the 6th November 2015 I got a call from my now boss. 'Would you like to go to Halley next year?' she said. 'I most certainly would I replied'.
The past year has been a whirlwind to be honest. In May 2016 I moved to Plymouth and met the BASMU team, the others Doctors heading south to BAS bases/ships and started the process of turning myself from a A&E doctor used to working in a well staffed hospital to one who has to do a little bit of everything by themselves with help only a phone call and 9000 miles away. (More on that at a later date). Has it worked? I hope so - the next 18 months will tell.
And so tomorrow is the final step to getting there. Friends and family have been hugged goodbye, thermals and suncream have been packed, camera batteries are charged. To say I'm nervous would be an understatement but I'm also unbelievably excited. This has been a long time coming and I'm certainly planning on making the most of it!
You can follow the upcoming adventures on the blog here or:
On twitter: @HalleyVIDoc
On Instagram: halleyvidoc
or email me: HalleyVIDoc@gmail.com
Internet access is somewhat limited down south - particularly during the summer months so post may be somewhat sporadic but I will try to answer any questions and keep things up to date as I can.
Bye for now