Author: Peter Aird

And I guess that’s why they call it the blues

Peter Aird is a GP in Bridgwater, Somerset. Like the one whose taste in music veers consistently and increasingly away from societal norms and thus is destined to spend too much time sat in darkened rooms accompanied only by an empty bottle and the conviction that only he or she knows how music really ought to sound, it can be a lonely experience seeing things differently to the majority. Nevertheless, it needs to be said that it’s not unusual, in this vale of tears, for it to be hard to be human. Neither is it abnormal. We live in...

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Do we care about sadness?

“All men seek happiness, this is without exception”. So wrote Blaise Pascal in his Pensées. But despite his assertion, and our best efforts, too many of us, it seems, find only sadness. In such circumstances we may well feel useless, but that’s not necessarily so. Knowing our inadequacy allows us to stop being doctors who can’t help and allows us to become people who can.

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Aristotle and general practice: What do good doctors do?

Aristotle had it right when he asserted in his ‘Metaphysics’ that ‘Those who wish to succeed must ask the right preliminary question’. More than 2000 years later, doctors would do well to listen to his advice. Before adopting each and every new advance that claims to be good for our patients, we should ask what we are hoping to achieve by following such recommendations.

We ought to consider whether the answer we come up with tallies with what I would propose might, in Aristotle’s eyes, be a good preliminary question to ask ourselves: ‘What do good doctors do?’

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The Uncomfortable Professional

The professionalism of general practitioners continues to be undermined as increasingly we are treated as naughty children who need to be brought into line. We need to make collective decisions on how to practice based on what we know as GPs to be true. And by giving ourselves autonomy and control over our work, we will, consequently, bring about genuinely better health for our patients and happier working lives for ourselves. This is what GPs need to do. We need to practice patience and master fear and thereby do things differently.

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Why I am still fighting for general practice

General practice can sometimes feel like a battleground… it certainly has a fight on its hands but it is a fight that is worth fighting.     Peter Aird is a GP in Bridgwater, Somerset. GP practices are closing at an alarming rate with more and more GPs abandoning the profession as workload rises exponentially and recruitment continues to struggle to keep up with the number of doctor leaving. Reflecting on the assertion, given some support at the 2017 RCGP conference by the chair Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard, that the causes of ill health are largely social, Dr Phil Hammond...

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