My last ever patient?

My last ever patient? April 25, 2003

I am about to go to and review clinically a patient in what could potentially be my last ever clinical act. I am about to join a comercial company where my medical skills will be utilised in other ways than seeing patients. I guess it is possible that in a manner as unsuspecting as the poor first patient I ever spoke to as a medical student my last patient is waiting for me even as I blog.

It is a strange end to a long chapter of my life and of course need not represent an irreversible step. But seeing patients feels like the only thing I have ever been prepared to do. I wonder what it will feel like not seeing them again?

Sometimes there comes a point though when we realise we need to make our impact via other people, and the thought I am reassuring myself with is that by assisting a commercial company I will be impacting many more lives than I could ever do personally. It still leaves a nagging thought though that I may actually miss this hands on clinical experience. This oportunity to ask any question I like knowing nothing is off limits and too personal. This being paid to scrutinise and make judgements about peoples inner lives.

I wonder how many thousands of people I have started an interview with by saying ‘Hello I’m Dr Adrian Warnock……’ words I am possibly about to say for the last time to a patient who I am clinically responsible for!

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