Junior Doctors: Blood, Sweat and Tears

BBC Three’s new documentary series, Junior Doctors: Blood, Sweat and Tears, was first broadcast on 25th October 2017. The series is set in New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton, and follows the hospital’s newest recruits: the fresh-faced, newly qualified junior doctors who are just beginning their work placements. On top of being responsible for the lives of their patients, the doctors have to worry about the same issues we all do when starting a new job: Where is the main office? Who do I report to? Will people like me?

The doctors struggle to maintain a healthy work-life balance under extreme circumstances and find their own unique ways of coping with the stresses of the job. For example, Emeka Okorocha, a self-confessed ‘ladies man’ and previous Hollister model, caused a social media storm when he showed off his dance moves in episode one. He claimed this to be his tactic for staying alert during night shifts, but it looked more like flirting in truth.

This is most certainly not a programme for the squeamish among us. Within the first minute, we are bombarded with images of bloody limbs, infected wounds, and wires protruding from various body parts, and that’s just the introduction! Admittedly, I did have to watch some scenes through my fingers, but it’s not just gore for gore’s sake. The graphic scenes communicate the true difficulty of the job. This is not Grey’s Anatomy; it is not glamorous. If there ever was a case for increasing NHS funding then this is it. These people are not much older than most of us, yet they face the frightening realities of life and death everyday, in a workplace stretched to its limits by austerity.

This series is definitely one to watch and you can catch it every Wednesday on the BBC Three section of BBC iPlayer.

Lily Mead

Image: Radio Times