††††††† I work as a Medical Secretary at Birmingham Childrenís Hospital for a Respiratory Paediatrician.My job is full time and for someone who not only never wanted children but actually never had any, it seems oddly fitting to have a job now protecting their interests.


†††††† It is a very demanding job, and in some ways is likeNursing without bedpans.Britain has a socialised medicine set up, so my job is strictly that of a PA rather than having anything to do with billing.


†††††† My Consultant specialises in severe asthma and sleep apnoea.I have special clinics and waiting lists to run and basically, am responsible for ensuring that he is at the right place, at the right time, seeing the right patient, with the right piece of paper in his hand, and having had the right procedures already carried out.This means figuratively running after him with an administrative dustpan and brush making sure all is running like clockwork.


†††††† As he is the Asthma Specialist and one of the leading Consultants in Britain in this specialty, and as I was a very sick asthmatic child, I find my work deeply fulfilling.My Mum went toe to toe with many a doctor and consultant when I was sick as a child, and I know EXACTLY how the sick child is feeling when his/ her Mum is on the other end of the phone pleading her childís cause.I can empathise with the mother too, when she fights for her child, as my Mum did the same.Sometimes just listening is all I can do as they want to let off steam, but often I have the satisfaction of either being personally being able to help (appointments or anything to do with administration), or directing them to Specialist Nurses or Lung Function Technicians who can answer their questions, or even have them talk to my Consultant.This is a kind of triage and is a lateral shift from my nursing role, which was broadly the same in principle.


†††††† Simply put, I have found a niche in life.I am working up to retirement, hoping to step down to part time next year, and will retire when I am 66.Thatís not all that far away!††