WICM Festive Blog

Published 21/12/2023

Dear all, as the year draws to an end we thought we, as the members of The Women In Intensive Care Medicine committee, thought we would share some festive musings with you as our last blog of the year.

Dr Jennifer Abthorpe
Consultant in ICU and Anaesthesia

After a year away on maternity leave, it's a big adjustment to be back at work. Lovely to catch up with colleagues and use my brain again! It's such a busy and challenging time to come back, but the festive spirit throughout the department keeps us all smiling. Wishing all those who work in ICUs across the land a happy and joyful Christmas. A huge thanks to everyone working on Christmas and Boxing Day!

Jennifer Abthorpe
Photos: Our Festive ICU Raffle; Our dept Xmas tree, note the unusual decoration!; Xmas tree in the ICU nurses coffee room; Our fantastic ICU trainees;
Dr Anna Stout
ST5 Anaesthetics/ICM

Reflecting on my year in ICM, this has been a busy one with specialty rotations in paediatric, cardiac and neurointensive care, plus some exams thrown in for good measure. In South East Scotland, we’ve had bi-monthly regional teaching days covering both the common and more esoteric aspects of ICM, and providing a brilliant opportunity to catch up with friends. As a dual trainee, I’m finishing up in anaesthetics and lucky to be doing so in the Kingdom of Fife. A very friendly department, we have a (voluntary) rota for ‘festive food’, the decorations are up and everyone is looking forward to spending some time with friends and family. Cheers to 2024!

Dr Nish Desai
Consultant in ICM

This has year has been an interesting year me for me. Juggling the challenges of pregnancy and work. I did start to wonder about the physiological and evolutionary advantages of hyperemesis in pregnancy? I could not come up with anything plausible. Anyhow I now have plenty of empathy and sympathy for all pregnant women. Just wanted to also say watch out for the release of the FICM Parental Guidelines in the near future which I have been inspired to write with the WICM group.

It’s been a challenging year with all the nursing and doctors strikes but as ever I am always impressed by how colleagues support each other through difficult times. I want to give a shout out to all our nurses, allied healthcare professionals, junior doctors, ACPs, ACCPs, PAs, administrative team, and consultants for all they do to support the NHS and each other.

Our department have really gone all out this year for the Christmas festivities with a Pet Advent Calendar, a Christmas Bonza party in the atrium at work with a 360 photobooth and the critical are memorial service in the New Year to remember all those patients who passed away in our units.

Personally, I have been enjoying my craft advert calendar, making my daily felt Christmas tree decorations.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2024 to everyone!

Nish Desai
Photos: Christmas Tree at the St Thomas’ Hospital main entrance; Nish’s felt decorations;
Dr Mishti Oberoi
Dual Emergency Medicine and Intensive Care Medicine trainee

This year has been both extremely rewarding and challenging for me. I have had the best holidays with friends and family including trips to mainland Europe, Turkey, New York and Canada. I have also spent days locked away in the library studying for the FRCEM and the FFICM exams. I have had the busiest shifts at work but have done it with the best team. Over the last few months, I have been doing a fellowship in teaching and simulation, I love to teach and derive great satisfaction from shared MDT learning and have thoroughly enjoyed the fellow role. When I reflect on the year, I am reminded of the number of sacrifices we as clinicians need to make for the job we love; I am also grateful for the privilege of doing what I love while being surrounded by motivated caring people. I am ending the year on a very happy note with my parents visiting from India for the festive period, my brother joining us from Germany next week and a series of pre-Christmas meals with friends who are chosen family. Hope 2024 brings joy, peace, much less conflict and good health to the world.

Mishti Oberoi
Photos: My Parents in the city that is my chosen home; This picture represents the resilient NHS for me: innovation in an ever-growing resource limited environment, while staff still carry on with cheer!; Doing sim training with the lovely team;
Dr Aoife Quinn
Consultant Neuro and Trauma Critical Care and Anaesthesia

Loads of great team work on NCCU, Cambridge this year. Soaking up some Christmas spirit in Berlin currently and looking forward to 2024.

Aoife Quinn
Photos: Christmas Market; Team Photo;
Dr Liz Thomas
Consultant in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine

Merry Christmas to you all and wishing you a happy, peaceful and safe 2024.

I started a new job in March - having been a consultant in another hospital for almost 10 years meant it was quite a change. But I've also really enjoyed the challenge. It has helped me remember how it feels to be a rotating junior doctor - knowing how to do the job, but not quite the organisational etiquette. There have been a lot of new people to meet - it was really odd going from a place where I knew everyone to being the new girl with pink hair and a locum badge! And it has been a really exciting time to work in a huge ICU with a lot of tertiary services. 

So, I've certainly had a lot of changes in my ICM world in 2023 but I have loved them all! 2024 is lined up to be exciting too - I am going on sabbatical to volunteer in Zambia for 2 months - but I'll tell you about that next year!

Liz Thomas
Festive photo - featuring Liz and her husband

We hope everyone has a fantastic end to the year and a very happy and healthy 2024!