Author: Des Spence

Brave New Medical World 2084

Death has been banned and we will all live forever. Hurrah! The medical profession has decreed that as long as we take all the necessary measures to avoid risk that we can live forever. Doctors through scientific research have established the major risk factors in life and the government is now seeking to tackle these under new legislation. The most basic risk avoidance involves wearing a crash helmet at all times to avoid head injury. Suits developed by Michelin the French tyre makers will need to be worn to avoid possible damage from falls. Masks and sunblock will be...

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Casting down the pseudo-religion of clinical examination

The glass bounced off my back and smashed into the drinks gantry shattering a whisky bottle. All I remember is the glass, the blood and that terrible screaming. Glass fights are dangerous, especially as barman, and for $1.80 an hour I often wondered if it was worth it. But it had its compensations for it was the best practical module on communication skills I ever had and I have used my experiences everyday of my medical career. Teaching undergraduates for the last 10 years I have enjoyed regaling them with my ‘pub communication’ stories. I am convinced of the...

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General practice in meltdown: it’s not just funding

You can download the PDF and comment on this article in the May issue of the BJGP available at bjgp.org. General practice is in crisis. One in three training posts are empty, 10% of GP positions are unfilled and this is worsening daily.1,2 Practices are closing their lists but this is merely deflecting the pressures elsewhere. And with 25% of male GPs (many who work full time) over 55, the pressure is set to get a whole lot worse.3 The more pressure, the less attractive GP is becoming. But there is no cavalry over the horizon, for unlike crises...

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