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A Day in the life of an Infectious Diseases Registrar

It's difficult to describe a single day in Infectious Diseases. Due to the sheer variety of diseases, syndromes and presentations, every day is different. We normally start by reviewing patients referred to us by the acute medical take. This is a valuable interaction for both the patient and us as doctors; we can advise on appropriate antibiotics, imaging and investigations, ensuring optimal management from day one. We can even arrange IV antibiotics to be given at home via our OPAT team, enabling patients to leave hospital a lot sooner.

After this, we either begin our ward round of inpatients or review our outpatients in clinic. As inpatients, we look after patients with HIV and its complications (often new diagnoses), TB, and serious or complicated bacterial infections like endocarditis. In clinic, we look after patients living with HIV, Hepatitis B and C, as well as following up patients with complicated or long-term infections. We also get referrals from inpatient teams for help and advice treating a variety of infections, as well as patients with fevers of unknown origin. Diagnosing these latter patients requires a methodical approach, an attention to detail and an open mind. In addition, and for all our patients, we often need to liaise and work with various specialities, including Radiology, Surgery, Orthopaedics, Rheumatology, Haematology - and of course, Microbiology. In Infectious Diseases, no two patients and no two days are ever the same.

In the midst of a global pandemic, Infectious Diseases as a speciality has never been more important. We have been looking after very unwell patients with COVID-19 infection from the beginning while trying to stay up to date with the ever-expanding literature. In addition, we have been working with the Trust's research team, recruiting patients into ongoing clinical trials.. In this way, we are helping to improve our collective understanding of this disease and improve the management for patients across the world.

Whether it's tackling new and emerging pathogens, or treating more traditional illnesses, Infectious Diseases remains an exciting, interesting, clinical, collegiate speciality that covers the entire breadth of medicine.

Rhys Davies