Surgery School

Monday, 20 September 2010, 10:35PM – 11:35PM on ITV1

As the first year finishes, the trainees are facing their first year assessments. It’s a crucial time for them as they have to show they have made real progress in the year. Those who don’t make the grade will be asked to leave the course.

As well as preparing for tests the trainees have to get as much experience as possible. Nicola makes a good start by getting in to some important operations. Yvonne is desperate to move away from treating old men in urology, and eventually gets a placement in general surgery. It gives her a chance to do her first leg amputation. Trainee Nick gets to help a gardening enthusiast who chopped his toes with a lawn mower.

For trainee Ed in intensive care he faces the most seriously ill patient he has ever had to treat. It’s a hard week for Ed, despite the intensive treatment she receives his patient dies. Learning how to cope with life and death is part of their training.

During the final assessment and interviews, all of the trainees get a harsh grilling, but for one trainee it’s a disappointing end to the year.

Monday, 6 September 2010, 10:35PM – 11:35PM on ITV1

Episode one follows junior doctors Rose Johns, Andrew Al Rais, Nicola Robertson and Rishi Dhir as they begin their first year in surgical training, in busy London hospitals.

Rose Johns loves her job but is struggling to find the find time to get into theatre, as she juggles it with her training. She finally gets the chance to assist on an 11 year old boy with suspected appendicitis but offloading the rest of her workload onto fellow staff takes far longer then expected. Rose arrives 20 minutes late and misses the most important part of the operation. The consultant remarks that she will have to be more forceful in future if she is to make it into theatre on time. Rose has made big sacrifices to train in London. She spends every week alone in a hospital bed sit, leaving her fiance at home in their comfortable Portsmouth home. She admits that she often questions whether she is doing the right thing.

Rishi Dhir has worked for five years for his chance to train as a surgeon and is extremely excited about the experiences which lie ahead of him. He scrubs in on a hernia operation and finally gets the chance to assist when the consultant invites him to stitch up the wound. With his nerves getting the better of him, Rishi cuts his stitches far too short and is ordered by the consultant to pay attention. It’s not a good start. Having struggled with basic surgery skills, he is a long way from doing his own operation. But Rishi continues to practice in the lab, determined to make his family proud.

Nicola Robertson is a trainee spending her first year in a South London hospital. She admits that her patients often assume she is a nurse. As a straight-A student Nicola is used to performing well and is in luck when one of her patients needs an immediate operation. Watched by her consultant, Nicola successfully removes an abscess on the male patient and is off to a flying start. However, her next operation does not go to plan when she fails to run a tube into the bladder of her next patient. After several attempts her consultant stops the operation and takes over, leaving Nicola disappointed.

Andrew Al Rais is following in the medical footsteps of his parents, a retired surgeon and nurse. He admits to idolising his father and sees him as a great role model. Andrew believes one of his strongest assets is his bedside manner and ability to get on with people. After watching Andrew on his weekly ward round, his consultant comments that his ward care is improving and that he’s getting more confident when dealing with patients. Andrew reveals that he loves being a doctor and only made the decision to become a surgeon a few months ago. He is hoping that he has made the right decision.

During one shift, Andrew is asked to cover another department on top of his normal workload. This leaves him looking after all general surgery, vascular, urology, orthopaedic patients on the ward and the acute admissions. He admits that this happens all the time. Luckily Nicola is working at a nearby hospital and agrees to come and help out, despite having already working a long shift herself.

Rose finally gets another chance to get into theatre and is determined to be more pushy if it means she gets her shot. She successfully manages to delegate her workload and her consultant is happy for her to perform a basic hernia operation. Rose is delighted to successfully perform the majority of the operation by herself. She has learned the lesson of being assertive and it has definitely paid off.

  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Three
  • ITV1
  • ITV2
  • 4
  • E4
  • Film4
  • More4
  • Five
  • Fiver
  • Sky1