Tag: Peter Aird

Life is a dance: Blaming it on the boogie

Peter Aird is a GP in Bridgwater, Somerset. Recently The Guardian, and others, reported that doctors were alarmed that an online test which estimated cardiological health revealed that 78% of adults had a heart age older than their chronological age and were, therefore, at risk of an early death. What was even more alarming, at least for one Somerset man, was that despite having normal blood pressure, a cholesterol comfortably below five and a weight in the healthy range, the computer based algorithm insisted on saying ‘No’ to his question as to whether he’d live to a ripe old...

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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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Advanced Access – a step in the wrong direction

Peter Aird is a GP in Bridgwater, Somerset. If the recent film ‘The Darkest Hour’ is anything to go by, Winston Churchill would have liked a ‘Drinks by the Dram’ Advent Calendar – available last December on Amazon for a shilling short of £10,000. But then who wouldn’t want to start the day with a 60 year old Glenfarclas or a shot of Pappy Van Winkle’s 23 Year Old Family Reserve to accompany their Coco Pops? Churchill’s penchant for starting the day in the manner he intended to continue may have had us reaching for our CAGE questionnaires and...

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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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