The Medicine Box is a weblog devoted junior medical officer, especially those in the first couple of years after graduation. There is, unashamedly, a strong Australian bias to this site. It is a treasure trove of tips, tricks and cheats; and hopefully within, a few pearls of wisdom.

The tips in this website is organised into categories that you can assess by clicking on the relevant section in the “sidebar”. Good medicine thrives on communication and this website is no different. If you have any comments that you wish to add then please post your “2 cents” worth for us all to see. I won’t pay you but you’ll feel better for it, I promise.


As a new doctor entering internship in a hospital, you will soon realise your true position in the pecking order of the hospital. After 5 or 6 years of study, you have earned the right to be at the very bottom. Depending on the hospital, even the porters may give you attitude.

This is no more obvious than on your first day, particular those unlucky few that start on an evening or night shift. You don’t know anyone and nobody knows you. You don’t know where the wards are. You don’t know where anything is. Quite frankly, you don’t know very much… You will start to question your adequacy as a doctor. But not to worry! This is all normal.

Hopefully, what your medical education has given includes:

  1. A grounding in pathology, physiology and pharmacology
  2. The ability to take a medical history, perform a physical examination and to formulate a management plan
  3. Emergency life support skills
  4. Ability to recognise unwell patients
  5. Ability to speak to other doctors as colleagues
  6. Common sense

What you lack at the beginning of your working career is experience and this can only be gained by working. As long as you know your limitations and are willing to learn, you will get there in the end! You will learn more in your year of internship that you did in most of medical school. You will learn to be doctor in the wider holistic sense.

Everyone has “been there” and most of us have “done that” as some stage in their careers. Have fun!

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