Five Minutes from Car Park Five

If the general public were asked what subject causes the most “reply all” email traffic for hospital consultants I am sure they would come up with an admirable list: healing the sick; pleading for better facilities; organising teaching for medical students, but I’m afraid the truth is much more mundane and rather disappointing. The subject that fills many in boxes is…….

Car Park

from the Daily Echo (Southampton)

….. car parking.

We had a flurry of these emails at my outpost of Vichester recently, and whilst not getting heavily involved, it did, to my chagrin, mean a change of car park venue to “Car Park 5”, some 5 minutes walk from the ED.

At first this was a cause for consternation, but now I have found an upside, as this walk allows almost exactly the right time to listen to a single music track, and over past months I have honed my choice to mean I am in exactly the right mood for work as I stride (rhythmically and smiling) through the doors. I present for you my top five choices below and guarantee that the presence of these on your generic MP3 device will give those tricky first few moments as you walk through the crowded corridors a lift (and perhaps even improve patient care and your relationships with colleagues).

All suggestions to add to the list are most welcome and will be added to the “Car Park Five” playlist on Spotify. The only entry criteria are that it needs to be less than five minutes long and leave you smiling as you put down your bag and hit the ED shopfloor. All songs should be played at high volume through earphones!

1, Nina Simone – Feeling Good

A classic tune, which although not upbeat cannot help but make you feel good and appreciate the world around you.

2, Craig Robinson – Let’s Get It Started

Originally by the Black Eyed Peas (seen in the link above) I first came across this in the classic movie “Hot Tub Time Machine” (which surely must rival Liz Crowe’s favourite “Blades of Glory” for ridiculous giggles). My current CPW (Car Park Walk) favourite I defy anyone to not dance past the waiting trolleys of the sick after listening to this.

3, McFly – Star Girl

Every list like this needs a boyband and great British heartthrobs “McFly” join mine. If only so you can childishly giggle when they sing “Hey, there’s nothing on Earth that could save us, when I fell in love with Uranus”

4, Michael Bublé – It’s A Beautiful Day

A tongue in cheek song from Canadian Crooner Buble about a man who faces a difficult situation with bravery, a smile and a catchy tune. Sound familiar?

5, Pharrell Williams – Happy

Although perhaps suffering a bit from radio overplay this song cannot help but make you feel, well, happy.

I hope this short list does a little bit to help your shifts start on the right foot. Coming soon a few suggestions for the wind down wander after a day (or night’s) work.

Iain Beardsell (docib)


Cite this article as: Iain Beardsell, "Five Minutes from Car Park Five," in St.Emlyn's, June 6, 2014,

Posted by Iain Beardsell

Dr Iain Beardsell. MBChB (Birm), DipIMC (RCS Ed), FRCEM is section lead for podcasts and Lesson Plans. Editorial Board Member St Emlyn’s blog and podcast. He is a Consultant in Emergency Medicine at University Hospital Southampton and a Consultant in Pre Hospital Emergency Medicine. Iain qualified in 1998 and over the past 20 years has trained and practiced medicine in major teaching hospitals both in the UK and overseas. He has been a consultant at University Hospital Southampton for the past thirteen years, including a three year term as the unit’s Clinical Director. UHS is the main Major Trauma Centre for the South Coast region of England as well as the eighth largest hospital in the UK. Iain is also a highly regarded advisor to television medical dramas, including Casualty and Good Karma Hospital. An acclaimed speaker, Iain has spoken at international conferences in Australia, Ireland, Austria and Germany as well as across the UK. You will find him on twitter as @docib

  1. I love this idea. I had to think about this quite a bit and as my colleagues (Rich Carden) will know, the perfect night shift mood booster is this song

    But for the way-to-work feeling I think the only possible answer is this. I dare you to try not to tap your feet.


  2. Thanks a lot, Iain – I bet this is something that most doctors can relate to! However, I had no idea that my colleagues at St. Emlyn’s were quite so cheesy. 🙂 Of course, I’m only kidding. I knew it all along really.

    I have to say that my personal favourite car park song of all time is probably Bring it on Down by Oasis.

    No surprise there, I guess, being a Manchester lad.

    It’s become a bit of a habit of mine to turn the volume down as I arrive for fear of seeming unprofessional having music blaring out in a hospital car park. 🙂


    1. On the train in – hymns and arias – a Welsh classic. Inspiring me for a weekend of ITU. Come on.


  3. For the way in: (This accompanied by a good coffee will have you Jiving through the ED doors in the morning)

    And for the way home:



  4. […] the joy and optimism of “Car Park Five” and it’s uplifting tunes I thought this should be balanced by something more […]


  5. […] into work on a late shift) as this tends to clear my head. The team at St. Emlyn’s have suggested some tracks to listen […]


Thanks so much for following. Viva la #FOAMed

MMU banner 1