I’m up just before 6am and try on most mornings to either run, swim or cycle. The aim is to leave the house before 8am to drop the children off at school and get to work as soon as possible. I have a quick check of emails and messages before the day proper starts. Every day is different. Some mornings I have an outpatient clinic with a combination of both new referrals from GP colleagues and children under follow-up. Invariably each appointment overruns and so clinics won’t usually end until early afternoon, after which the letters to GPs and parents have to be dictated. Sometimes there is an afternoon clinic starting immediately but on other days there may be a bit of office time to try to catch up with the messages from parents, results of investigations and emails that will have come through during the morning. I look after our local cystic fibrosis patients whom I see in specific CF clinics with the rest of the CF team. The children require a lot of medical input too keep well and I will usually see one or two of them as extras every week when needed.

Every 7th week I am on duty for the wards and neonatal unit, being responsible for all emergency admissions. These weeks can get extremely busy but the variety is amazing; I could be dealing with a 6 month old with a bad chest infection, followed by premature twins and then a teenager who has overdosed. Both my colleagues and myself cover whole weekends on call, which means we could potentially be in the hospital from Friday morning till Monday morning. Fortunately this is a very rare occurrence and we can usually get a little bit of time away but nights on call can be quite taxing, especially if after being up all night there is a day of clinics ahead.

I am involved in teaching and training and as head of the paediatric department, I have to attend business meetings to discuss financial issues and how we run the service. In my time in charge there have been some really positive developments such as the children’s hospital at home service which has enabled us to keep many children out of hospital who might otherwise have needed admission.

Most days are madly busy with too much to do and not enough time but it’s worth it.

Dress:

Bare forearms and no ties for infection control reasons but otherwise as long as I’m not too scruffy anything goes.

What is the favourite part of your job?

Getting to coo over babies, behave in an extremely silly way with younger children and trying to be cool (and usually failing) with teenagers. I couldn’t do this in any other field of medicine.

What is the least favourite part of your job?

The ever increasing piles of administrative work and emails that never seem to shrink and having to constantly be finding ways to save money.

What would be your dream job if you weren’t doing what you do now?

A Blue Peter presenter (although I’m way to old now)

How do you relax when you are not working?

Long runs and triathlons (I did an Ironman last year), singing, the occasional pub quiz.

What is your favourite film?

Airplane

What is your favourite book?

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

What is your favourite song?

Private Universe by Crowded House

If a film was made of your life, who would you like to play you?

Woody Allen

Have you had your 15 minutes of fame yet?

I guess it’s sort of happening now but also I won the Weakest Link 12 years ago

Fact File:

  • Name: Ravi Jayaram
  • Job: Consultant paediatrician
  • Born: Leeds
  • Lives: Chester
  • Education: King’s School Chester, Newcastle University, Paediatric training in Newcastle, Bristol, New South Wales and London
  • Family: Live with my partner and two teenage daughters

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