Umar Saleem

Portrait of Umar Saleem

Umar Saleem

Doctor, the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh
Haven: The Corridor

It can get testing at times and you do need a place to hide. At the same time, where do you hide? You can’t go for a two-hour chat with your friends…so you just walk to the other end of the hospital and back.”

Listen to Umar talking about their Haven

Summary transcript of audio

Hi, my name’s Umar Salim. I’m a specialty doctor from care for elderly, and I’ve been working in Orthopaedic Trauma at the Royal Infirmary for a few years now.

My day-to-day work involves looking after elderly people with trauma of various locations and severities and providing medical care to them. The surgeons do an excellent job of what of the stuff of the surgery and operations and myself and my team, we look after the medical side of things.

So I’m originally from Pakistan and I came to Scotland about 19 years ago and the plan at that stage was to become I think it is deep-rooted things from childhood. When I was a when I was four, I dressed up as a doctor in some, some dress-up thing and I always knew I was going to be a doctor.  Being from my background, I had no choice, that that was it. Grandparents were all doctors, uncles were all doctors. So you just kind of grew up with that and you know

It is a demanding job, yeah absolutely and which is the main attraction of the job I suppose as well. It’s not for everyone, you need to be of a certain personality, a certain mindset to just just come and do it and and the same bit of it that’s rewarding is also the bit of it that’s tiring and testing. You have to be able to deal with uncertainty. You have to be able to just make a decision and go with it. You have to just accept that not everything you’re going to do will work. But I think in my role in what I do – think just making that decision and doing something, is the reason I’m here.

Yeah, well, every day is a frantic day and every day is a demanding day, you just have to come up with your own systems of managing it. It would be naive of me to assume that I’m going to come here on a Monday and it’s not going to be a hectic day, so you learn your things. You learn that you divide your day into three portions maybe, the ones that have to be seen first thing in the morning. And then you put an artificial break in there by saying, I’m going to walk to the coffee shop, grab a coffee and come back. It’s not for the coffee. The coffee in the hospital is horrible. But it’s to just get away and you have in your head – kind of compartmentalized that the hardest bit of the day is done, and then is the second bit of the day when you just get through other business. And then it gets to the third bit of the day, which is after lunch, and that’s where you do the rest of the stuff.

Now, my job plan is very different from most people. My job plan is mostly clinical work. There’s this no office work, there’s no supervision work, there’s no tutorials. There’s is no education. So yeah, it can get testing at times and you do need a place to hide. At the same time, where do you hide?

And, you know, that’s not accounted for supported by a job plan. So, you know, you can’t go for a two-hour chat with your friends, about how difficult life is so, so you just have little hacks, you know, you just walk to the other end of the hospital and back.  And that gives you enough time to just just clear your mind. Sometimes, you just go into the doctors’ room and just find a random person and say something inappropriate and make them laugh and come out hoping that they don’t report you. When I say that inappropriate, I mean, I like a joke, you know, like a funny thing. And, and that’s basically it.

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