To be a medical novice who makes decisions which - if you get them wrong - might forever alter, or end, a person's life? To toughen up the hard way, through repeated exposure to life-and-death situations, clinging on until your skills, expertise and the thickness of your skin are finally a match for them? Now frame these questions in the context of a health service so overstretched and understaffed that its doctors and nurses feel every day as though they are scrabbling against the odds just to keep their patients safe. In this heartfelt, deeply personal account of life as a junior doctor in today's health service, former television journalist turned doctor, Rachel Clarke, captures the extraordinary realities of ordinary life on the NHS front line. From the historic junior doctor strikes of 2016 to the 'humanitarian crisis' declared by the Red Cross, the overstretched health service is on the precipice, calling for junior doctors to draw on extraordinary reserves of what compelled them into medicine in the first place - and the value the NHS can least afford to lose - kindness.Your Life In My Hands is at once a powerful polemic on the systematic degradation of Britain's most vital public institution, and a love letter of optimism and hope to that same health service and those who support it.
This extraordinary memoir offers a glimpse into a life spent between the operating room and the bedside, the mortuary and the doctors' mess, telling powerful truths about today's NHS frontline, and capturing with tenderness and humanity the highs and lows of a new doctor's first steps onto the wards in the context of a health service at breaking point - and what it means to be entrusted with carrying another's life in your hands.