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[Perspectives] In praise of boredom

When I started on the wards as a medical student in the 1970s I was sent off to do “the bloods”—a boring repetitive task that nobody else wanted to do. White coat pockets bulging with specimen tubes and syringes, I went from patient to patient, taking blood samples. Later, as a junior doctor, I spent hours putting up drips, placing intravenous lines and re-siting them when they became blocked or dislodged (often in the middle of the night). At the time, this seemed like boring repetitive physical work of no apparent value and I hated it.