If the ward is the doctor’s front line then the doctor’s mess is the chit chat and the cup of tea in the trenches. The doctor’s mess is never going to be a five-star experience but it houses the very best of the NHS: community, care and caffeine.
With help from our community of Junior Doctors, we at Messly have pulled together what we think makes for the best possible mess. It’s the little things, after all…
Though it may sometimes not seem like it, there is a life ‘off-call’. Mess’ that actively encourage out of hours meetups are always the most popular. The best Mess provides a landing space for you to take your mind off work, unwind and strengthen your relationships with other doctors in your hospital. Contact your current Mess presidents for information on upcoming events and opportunities to arrange these yourself if you’re interested.
So many problems can be solved by a hot meal. Look to your Mess for hot drinks, ready meals and all you need to make the perfect toastie. Although it’s unlikely you’ll have the time to crown a Mess Masterchef, make sure you take the time to fuel yourself and get acquainted with the microwave bell.
The Competitive Mess
A little bit of competition is great for mess morale – especially if it involves the World Cup. Our favourite Mess is one that believes in the power of sweepstakes and lotteries to bring junior doctors together.
More than a mattress
Sleep can be hard to come by when you’re on-call and it seems every doctor has their own sleep hygiene strategy (each one stranger than the next). Though you’re never going to be able to request the exact togg of your Mess duvet, a Mess that provides brief reprises of horizontal after a day of vertical is a firm favourite. Though the squishiest sofa is the hardest to get out of, they’re definitely the most appreciated.
Meeting your Mess Champion
A great Mess is always fondly associated with great socials, great people and great support from your colleagues. We’re working on helping to make this happen by creating a network of Mess Champions to help make this happen and getting to know them in your first week can really help to give you a kickstart in your new hospital. The role is a great way to meet people in your Mess and help develop valuable transferable skills. If you’re interested in getting involved head over to champion.messly.co.uk!
Make time for your mess, it will be an integral part of your time in training and beyond. Even when you’re on the go it is so much more than a pitstop.
We at Messly wish you all the very best as you start your training. If you’d like to get involved in our work modernising the doctors’ mess, please sign up here to our Mess Champion initiative. We look forward to welcoming you to the National Mess!