Acute Medicine deals with the assessment, diagnosing and managing the acute medical patient in the first 72 hours of admission. It is a fast paced job, with a huge spectrum of patients with various presentations, which makes the acute medical physician an expert clinician across multiple disciplines. Working in the Acute Medical Units (AMU) and therefore the entrance for medical admissions into the hospital, you will be exposed to the rarest, most interesting and funniest cases which mean you will never get a dull moment in this speciality.
 
PERSONALITY
 
  • Lateral thinking skills.

  • Manages well under pressure.

  • Practical.

  • Team player.

  • Display clinical leadership.

 
AVERAGE WEEK
 
On average most Acute Medical consultants will spend their time on or around AMU, doing the post take ward round from overnight admissions, reviewing new admissions during the day and helping the management of the critically unwell patients. Consultants will also help for ambulatory care facility or rapid access outpatient clinics, with other commitments to MDT meetings, management and teaching sessions.
 
BEST BITS
 
  • Working as part of a team and making the team work effectively.

  • Huge variety of patients and clinical presentations.

  • Constantly intellectually challenged.

 
CHALLENGES
 
  • High turnover of patients can mean loss of continuity of care.

  • High intensity and often stressful.

WHAT THE FACT?
 
  • The first technique of a 'lumbar puncture' was performed by a London physician Walter Essex Wynter, where he performed a crude cut down cannulated to relieve the pressure to treat raised intracranial pressure in Tuberculous Meningitis patients in 1889.

  • There were 15.462m total hospital admissions in 2013/14, 32 per cent more than a decade earlier (11.699m)

  • Coital orgasmic cephalgia (also known as orgasm headache) is a sudden, severe headache that starts at orgasm and therefore can be hard to differentiate it from a subarachnoid haemorrhage. Risk factors include being a middle aged male, and having sex in the kneeling position!

 

OVERVIEW
 
Salary                          3
 
Competitive                 3
 
Variety in Work            5
 
Work Life Balance       3
 
 
FURTHER INFO
 
The Society for Acute Medicine
NHS Medical Careers
Royal College of Physicians

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