1st Edition

The Bleep Test How New Doctors Can Get Things Right

By Luke Austen Copyright 2023
    248 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    248 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    What does it mean to help save someone's life? How does it feel to nearly kill a patient? Can we keep our patients safe at night? In the face of overwhelming pressures, can we thrive or only survive? And is a happy life as a doctor still possible?

    In the early months and years of work, it is these kinds of questions, rather than any technical or knowledge-based queries, which preoccupy many new doctors. This elusive, hidden curriculum is pervasive within departments, around hospitals and across health systems, but is rarely, if ever, explicitly examined and discussed. At its core is the issue that should matter above all others – how we can keep our patients as safe as possible.

    The Bleep Test combines gripping and startlingly vulnerable recollections of early experiences on the wards with an array of research findings, from psychology and human biology to anthropology, business and behavioural economics. Acknowledging that the truly complex challenges facing new doctors lie far beyond the realms of the traditional medical sciences in which they were trained, the book explains that the shift to being a doctor depends on first understanding how we think, reason and behave as someone we have been all our lives – a human amongst humans.

    Focused on the experiences of, and the issues facing, recently qualified medics, The Bleep Test is not only for young doctors, but also for anyone who manages them, works with them, cares for them or may one day depend on them.

     Introduction – Black Wednesday

    Chapter 1. Decisions, Decisions.

    Chapter 2. Accidental Emergencies.

    Chapter 3. Healthy Safety.

    Chapter 4. Night Mode.

    Interlude – Going Viral.

    Chapter 5. Their Final Doctor.

    Chapter 6. Clinging to the Raft.

    Chapter 7. Sliding Hospital Doors.

    Conclusion – It’s About Time.



    Luke Austen, BM BCh, MRCP(UK) graduated from the University of Oxford in 2018 and is a UK Core Trainee in Anaesthetics.

    "A remarkable book. Luke Austen writes beautifully, sharing real-life stories to illustrate many of the key issues that will face doctors throughout their careers. His wisdom and compassion come shining through. Highly recommended." - Professor Sir David Haslam, Past President of the BMA, Past Chair of NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence), author of Side Effects: How Our Healthcare Lost its Way

    "This book is timely, relevant, important and pragmatic. It contains valuable learning for senior doctors, medical educationalists and policymakers…it has my whole-hearted endorsement." - Dr Lois Brand, Associate Director of Clinical Studies, University of Oxford Medical School, UK

    "Few books tackle mental health and wellbeing in doctors and being able to recognise and cope with mistakes - one of the biggest fears of new doctors - is a poorly discussed and explored topic. The Bleep Test tackles this head on." - Dr Darryl Braganza Menezes, Consultant Physician in Infectious Diseases and General Medicine

    "One of the most terrifying experiences of a medics’ life is making the transition from student to doctor. This book brilliantly articulates and demystifies that stage, providing reassurance that the many years of training were, actually, hugely useful, along with tips and pointers to make new doctors safer and more effective. I genuinely wish I had been able to access such a resource when I took my first tentative steps as Dr Helen, but I also believe there is great wisdom and insight herein that will have applicability to all of us on the frontline of clinical care." - Professor Dame Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of Council, Academy of Medical Royal Colleges

    "The Bleep Test is easy to read and almost like a novel. It is scattered with useful diagrams and very well referenced. There are many other similar books on the market but none quite like this one. I would certainly recommend this book to all young doctors but also to medical students to give them an understanding of what is ahead for them. Senior doctors should read this to remember what they went through themselves, making them even more understanding and supportive to their juniors. The book is written without medical jargon and therefore would be of great interest to the general public for an insight into our profession." - Professor Dame Parveen Kumar, Emerita Professor of Medicine and Education and Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London.