July 27, 2015 in bod

I’m a burnt out GP. I’m hanging in there - just, along with the others who were too slow to spot the looming general practice disaster– before the growing kids and elderly parents made it hard to emigrate. Unfortunately I’m too young to retire. I’m not really any good at anything else - although I’d like to be a drummer.

When I became a GP after years of hospital medicine, I found GP colleagues to be funny, smart, sensible and good company. They inspired me and became my friends. General practice felt like a breath of fresh air after the stifling environment of hospital wards and repetitive clinics. Common sense was allowed to flourish. I was delighted with my final choice of career. The variety of clinical cases was a challenge but kept me interested. I made patients better in a way that I rarely did in hospital. It was hard work but it was fun.

Now it’s not fun. I slog through my list of patients and rarely see my colleagues. We rush around and eat at our desks. I can’t think straight. I keep my fingers crossed I haven’t messed up in my haste to get through it all. I’m required to do lots of pointless things. There seems no way of limiting the tsunami of work.  Many NHS departments and community services baffle me by their lack of logic and apparent callousness.

I can’t stop moaning. I’m terrible company.

This is why I’m writing this blog. I need to vent my frustrations about the insanity of it all on someone other than my close family and friends. I want to expose and shame the multitudes of nonsense policies and attitudes which now distort the NHS.

Against the odds I want to become one of those GPs who inspired me when I started out, many of whom have now taken early retirement. I want to retain the vestiges of good humour. I want to talk to my friends and family about something other than the trials and tribulations of my work. I want to be a supportive work colleague.  I want to be a good doctor. I want to enjoy my work. I want to go home on time. I want to make things better.  I want to light up people’s lives.

In the current dark days of general practice, I’d really like to change such a lot, but as a start I’ll write this blog. Maybe in a small way I can encourage and inspire others. Maybe, just maybe, the ‘hit the target miss the point ‘brigade will recognise themselves and see sense. Up the revolution!

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