Category: Opinion

Tough times for doctors and the best case fallacy

When the going gets tough, what about those who don’t feel tough enough to keep going? Peter Aird is a GP in Bridgwater, Somerset. Recently I watched the BBC adaption of ‘Little Women’. Despite the fact that it wasn’t the kind of programme I would naturally be drawn to [spoiler alert: there are no superpowers on display and no cosmic battles waged], I enjoyed it and found it genuinely moving. Let’s just say, on a number of occasions I found myself affected by what I can only assume was a speck of dust in my eye. I say there...

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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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Managing ‘medic mum guilt’ as a GP

Mehwish Sharif is a salaried GP in West Bromwich and does locum sessions in the Black Country. I recall thinking about a 5 year plan after completing GP VTS. The plan was quite simple, achieving a good work-life balance between personal and professional life. I started my GP journey as a salaried GP at a practice I had trained; nice familiar safe environment, always a smiley face and always a door to knock for reassurance or a second opinion. The plan was going as I thought it should. About a year later I discovered I was pregnant, exciting times....

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Babylon and smartphone consultations – dream or nightmare?

Martin Roland is an Emeritus Professor of Health Services Research at the University of Cambridge. Professor Roland was a practising GP for 35 years. So NHS patients are going to be able to deregister with their practice and reregister with a practice offering instant smartphone consultations. Apparently 80% of problems can be dealt with by phone, but surgery consultations will be offered for those who need to be seen. In an interview with The Times, Ali Parsa, founder of Babylon – the firm providing the service – is quoted as saying “I think this is the beginning of the...

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Jerry cross the Mersey: Hunt at the RCGP Conference

Jacket off, shirtsleeved, roving the stage, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt must have said “The truth is…” three times in the first three minutes of his RCGP Conference speech in Liverpool this Thursday. By the standards of recent Tory party speeches this one was pretty good. He thanked GPs for doing a good job and reiterated the mantra “If general practice fails, the NHS fails”.

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