Reflections on remote consulting

Rebecca Quinn is an inner-city GP, who occasionally encounters the sublime amongst the daily grind of people that she had the privilege of calling her patients


We are soft bodied – we are trained:

This doctor is open and empathetic

This doctor is trustworthy .

We hear you

Strongly agree or Agree,  most of the time.

And so, when you hear me on the line

In between the car horns and the screaming baby

Please know

I am trying to patch a clinical web over your problem

Empathetically. Communicating blind.

Flushing the darkness systematically with questions

That dredge the deep;  clutching professionally

For answers that shape up into neat, precise lines:

This doctor is excellent at diagnosis, management and cure.


“Well I  wanted a call between 9:38 and 9:49

You are  late, for starters. I can barely hear you

Buzzing away down that awful line

But I just need my meds.

That whispering  fizz itches  my ear something terrible.

Like a fly in my ointment.  I don’t

Know if I have a fever. I feel hot. I don’t

Know if my bowels have changed, I’m not a doctor. I don’t

Even need a doctor:

I know what the problem is and I know what I need and that’s meds.


Featured photo by Julian Hochgesang on Unsplash

The BJGP is the world-leading primary care journal. At BJGP Life we add multi-media comment and opinion for the primary care community.

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