Your child’s GP

Tasneem Khan is a GP in Bradford and a primary care researcher at the University of Leeds.
She is on Twitter: @tbkhan12

I am your child’s GP. And I am a mum.

You bring her in for the 6-week check. She smiles with those glistening eyes, but you have not slept in days. I hand you the red book with the boxes ticked, well done mum you are doing a great job. You breathe a sigh of relief.

5-year olds love my spiderman impressions, your little boy chuckles. You and me both think he has a urine infection. Its diabetes. I send you both to the hospital. There is disbelief in your face, I hold your hand.

Your child was taken away when you were ill. It has been months. But you are still her mum. Your helpless tears plead that I check she is ok. But I am your child’s GP. I cannot tell you anything.

You both hug and cry. Your heart is breaking as you hold onto his.

He is only 12. He is sad, and when I send you outside he tells me he wants to die. That bridge around the corner from your house, he plans to jump off it. I convince him that we tell you. I call you in and you both face each other. You both hug and cry. Your heart is breaking as you hold onto his.

She is a teenager and she is pregnant. She does not want you to know.  I tell you that you no longer have access to your daughter’s medical information. But that she is safe. You are shocked, a part of your parenthood has just been taken away from you. I am sorry, but I am your child’s GP.

You are an exhausted mum. After 57 years you are still the only one he will talk to. You feed him, change him, his sheer strength is no match for your little frame. The autism will always be there, but you are worried that you will not. If only you knew you have done such a great job.

After a long day being your child’s GP, I come home. I get a few tantrums, followed by a cuddle 10 minutes later. I am a mum, just like you.

Author’s note:

These are fictional scenarios relating to the type of experience myself and my colleagues have, and do not relate to any particular patient or case.


Featured photo by J W 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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