Posted by: Witch Doctor | January 29, 2008

The variability of the office



The Witch Doctor is interested in hospital offices.

The Witch Doctor can tell a great deal from an office, about the person occupying that office, their place within the NHS hierarchy, and whether or not they are respected by their colleagues.

And much more.

But The Witch Doctor is not going to share this skill with you in case “Skills for Health” hear about it, and incorporate this knowledge in some kind of competency framework.

My Black Cat is trying to test me on this skill.



ANSWER. This is not a medical office. This is the office of a member of NHS staff who travels about a lot, attends meetings, reads and bombards others with e-mails all day and only really uses her computer for same. She is not very computer literate and can’t type. She really needs her phone though. She talks a lot on the phone. She also likes to water her plants, feed them and polish the leaves. Then she polishes her nails. If she left tomorrow no-one would notice much, apart from a bunch of predators who lust after her office. This might lead to a bun-fight.



ANSWER: This is a a surgical trainee junior doctor trying to find a quiet place in the corridor to dictate a confidential report on his patient’s operation he has just performed. He has no office but hasn’t noticed he has no office because he is too busy.



ANSWER: This is a junior doctor taking his turn to work in his office which he shares with 9 other junior doctors. Here he is thanking God he has an office.

Yes, My Black Cat. Full marks to me. I told you I was good at this.

Anyway, it seems junior doctors think they should have an office. Here is what is being said in this week’s “BMA News:”

“Junior doctors are being deprived of hospital offices in what has been described as a further attack on trainees……. ”

“The rooms, often shared by several junior doctors, are used for checking blood tests, completing patient discharge summaries, audits and research projects……”

“It ties in with the problem we are having with blocked hospital emails of junior doctors who are trying to do the job application round….”

“About 9 junior doctors were sharing one small office in her region……”

“I am often asked to dictate my notes in a busy corridor where everyone can hear…..”

“In one hospital, I used to sit in the toilet and dictate my notes…..”


This story will have changed a little with the telling, but it is fundamentally true.

The Witch Doctor once knew a doctor, who once worked with a doctor, who worked in a cupboard.

No-one knew what he did in The Cupboard.

He came in every morning with his newspaper tucked under his arm, smiled and said good morning, unlocked The Cupboard and closed the door behind him.

He was a quiet, reasonable, polite gentleman.

He didn’t come out of The Cupboard much, except to see patients.

He worked late in The Cupboard most nights.

Then, one day, someone found out what had been going on in The Cupboard.

The quiet, reasonable, polite, gentleman who worked in The Cupboard had won The Nobel Prize.

And was for evermore given a room bigger than a cupboard.

The Witch Doctor has no reason to doubt that this is a true story.

Interestingly, the man The Witch Doctor knew, who told this story, also worked in a cupboard.

The Witch Doctor sometimes visited the man in the cupboard. There was barely room for anyone other than the man who worked in his cupboard to get into the cupboard.

There was no room to swing a cat. So, My Black Cat did not accompany The Witch Doctor on these visits.

Funnily, the man The Witch Doctor knew became a world authority in his specialty too.

But he didn’t win The Nobel Prize.

So he didn’t get out of his cupboard.

The moral is, junior doctors, cupboards are good to work in.

So, make sure you at least get a cupboard.

This story says nothing about toilets, though.

Toilets are probably bad.

redapple.jpg a red apple ……………………

The Witch Doctor – Link to a random page





© | Agency:
© Starfotograf |
© Lammeyer |
© Sangiorzboy |
© Ijansempoi |


  1. But, the woman in the office, while polishing her nails, said that junior doctors are ‘an expensive resource,’ she doesn’t want them to even have the cupboard ..

    Keep up the hard work Witchdoc, you too kitty ..

    …. and, thank you both

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