Yes, I know, it’s been nearly 6 months since I last contributed. All I can say in my defence is that happily my medicolegal practice has continued to keep me busy.
Since I last wrote my career has taken a rather unexpected turn: for reasons which are not clear even to me I applied for a medical license in Israel, where I spend several months a year, and have now received a full licence. This necessitated a month of observation in a psychiatric clinic (I am still not sure whether I was meant to be observed or observing), followed by a year of working in a psychiatric setting. I chose to do a weekly full day clinic in north Jerusalem. To my relief the clinical work was not very different from that in the UK. Both staff and patients were accommodating of my frequent and lengthy periods of absence when in the UK.
I had stipulated that I would only see English-speaking patients as my Hebrew leaves much to be desired. What I had overlooked, however, was that the case notes would all be in Hebrew as were the clinic software and the referral letters. It had also not occurred to me that the English-speaking patients would not necessarily have English-speaking families/social workers/therapists/advocates. Fortunately I was very well supported by colleagues, and was reassured that I could prescribe, fill out forms and write letters in English.
Prior to starting the clinic I had been warned about Israeli bureaucracy, but to a seasoned NHS clinician the bureaucracy in the clinic was negligible. Overall it was a good experience, but I have wound down the clinic. Currently I have no plans to use my new licence, other than to decorate my office wall. Yet who knows what opportunities will present themselves?