RCSEd Wellbeing Week Poetry Competition - and the Winner is...

RCSEd Wellbeing Week Poetry Competition - and the Winner is...

As part of this year's RCSEd Trainees' Committee Wellbeing Week on 22-26 May, we invited participants to take part in a poetry competition. Themes explored for this year's Wellbeing Week included neurodiversity, the art of making a mistake, parenting as a doctor and 'outside of the 9 to 5'. We were delighted to receive a number of entries for the poetry competition, and were pleased to present Kellie Bateman with a voucher for a one-night stay at the College's Ten Hill Place Hotel as winner of the competition chosen by judges David Alderson and Harula Ladd. Read Kellie's winning entry, alongside some of the other entries, below.


'A Doctor burnt out' by Kellie Bateman

A doctor, a healer walks on to the wards
Hi I'm jack, how can I help he calls
The team flurry past handing him jobs and charts
Start here, do this, admin work, not smarts.
Rotate, next job

77 % of trainees this year felt burnt out
They think of patient problems like an annoying flare of gout.
When they feel undervalued and forgotten,
How can they care about your mum's problem?
Rotate, next job

He flails within a system no longer fit for purpose
Ambition deflated, he don't reach for the skies
He thought this job was about saving lives,
But who cares about him at the end of the night.
Rotate, next job

Mindfulness, resilience, offered like bandaids.
Staying late, again, all of it unpaid
Trying to do your best, the expectation too much.
Stuck in your own head, Forget the power of touch.
Rotate, next job.

But stop!
Who is this doctor?
What makes him tick?
How can he belong, love his work, not be sick
Understand his story, what makes him feel valued
Build support systems, Not doctors abused.
Money might help, that is true.
But let's improve working conditions too
Rest facilities, study leave, a computer that works
Teamwork, a purpose, a supervisor that cares

We ask that you take a pause for a minute
Understand our perspective, how to live it
Doctors unsupported, undervalued, burnt out
Hear us, respect us, put the fire out.


'Yesterday...' by Written by Sharon Hudson (Runner-Up)

Breast cancer seemed so far away

Then it came and was here to stay...
Til 8 rounds of chemo chased it away.
Oh how I longed for yesterday!

Surgery...cancer took my breast one day,
Then I finally believed that it had gone away
Oh how I longed for yesterday!

Oh how I longed for times when I felt
Confident and life was in full play,
when two were a pair and life was fair
Oh how I longed for yesterday!

Radio-therapy came next and I was CLEAR
Oh how happy I was to no longer have this fear. I could chase my yesteryear!

Back to work...normal felt like it was right
But life was not that kind and I was out...
Suddenly I was confused what life was about! How I longed for yesterday!

Doctor Mike he came along and promised to restore. Two surgeries I endured before I could take no more. He did his best and I have a better chest! But still I longed for yesterday...

Grasping Work, life and love is something to achieve, but in my heart I knew that ideal I could not believe, while I still longed for yesterday!

So stepping forward I pray, and I am grateful for where I am today. A bit lopsided but here to tell the tale. It’s a victory and not a fail! I have a new today, who needs yesterday!


'Poem on Well-being for Doctors' by Dr (Prof) Rajesh Botchu and Mr (Prof) Karthikeyan. P. Iyengar

Medicine as a career
A career that is challenging
That’s gruesome and long
Ups and downs
Highs and lows
Like the winding roads on the hill
Like the journey on boat

Medicine as a career
Is not for faint hearted
Not for those that don’t care
That don’t dedicate time
Time for updating knowledge
Time to practice
Time to learn
Learn how to examine
How to operate
To elicit signs,
to interpret images
to Institute treatment

Medicine as a career
In a career where the clinician is at the heart
Heart of management of patients
To make them well
Make them better
But but but
In this long journey
One should not forget the key person
Should not forget the health professional
Should not forget onself
For good physique, good heath
Good mind, good attitude
Is the key
The key for increased efficicency
The key for increased productivity
For better treatment
For excelling in work

Body mind heart
Well being of each
Well being of all three
By meditation, by rest
By mindfulness, By healthy meals
By exercise, by run in the park
Is crucial
Crucial for the patient
Crucial for clinician
Crucial for one and all.


We would like to thank everyone who took part in this year's Wellbeing Week activities. Access the College's Wellbeing Week 2023 resources here.


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