Have you ever wondered what the life of a doctor is like away from the hospital? You may imagine that they live in fancy houses and enjoying their evenings listening to classical music and enjoying the company of other intellectual friends, the reality however is very different indeed. I have been flat sharing with Dr. Ryan Shephard for almost a decade now and during that time I have seen him graduate from medical school and then begin working at the local hospital. Living with the Doc has been a learning experience for me and I wanted to give you a small insight into what the life of a doctor is like, beyond the scrubs.


Always Working


Being a doctor I guess is like being a lawyer, there are never really any days off and wherever someone finds out your profession, they are quick to ask you about legal troubles or, in this case, any health concerns which they happen to have. The most frustrating part for Ryan is that because he is a good man and an ethical doctor, he will never turn someone down. In fact on one occasion we were out with some friends engaging in a debate when suddenly Ryan charges off, we turned around bemused to see him engaging in CPR on an elderly lady who had arrested. Doctors never switch off and whilst it is good for society, it is not always good for the doctors.


Keep On Studying


Even when Ryan does have days off or free time he is usually using that time to study medical essays and new reports that have been produced. He tells me that he does this for two reasons, the first being that there are new techniques and treatments being discovered daily and that he must keep up, and the second being that he, like many others, fears that he will lose knowledge if he doesn’t keep studying.




On occasions, especially when he is working back-to-back shifts, I have seen in Ryan a fatigue that I would never have previously thought possible. We have all felt tired at times when we lack sleep but the fatigue that a doctor who works long hours in such a highly charged environment can suffer from is absolutely incredible. The result of this fatigue renders my roomie utterly useless and it is a sad sight to see. The worst aspect of this for Ryan is that he will often tell me that despite having been awake for such a long time, that he is unable to sleep because his brain is too busy trying to process everything that has gone on in the hospital. Of course he is always at his best when the time comes to go to work but when he finally gets away from the hospital, the effects on his body and mind are there for all to see.


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