Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Why do we do it?

Like many other medical bloggers, I was invited to read 'Sick Notes' - the recently published book by GP columnist Dr Tony Copperfield (of Pulse fame). I hadn't planned on reviewing it, and I'm not going to, but I have brought it up because it has left me asking big questions about my career choice.

The book is hysterical, I really mean that. I laughed out loud on several occasions, and was often to be found chuckling in a corner, book in hand. It's funny because it is unbelievably true to life. In each ridiculous scenario that he describes I can see myself, every absurdity he mentions I too have seen. In some ways it is comforting to know that there are others who share my GP-related pain. On the other hand, hearing all of this from a GP nearing the end of his career when I am just at the start of mine, does make me feel a little hopeless.

The stark realisation is that if this book is anything to go by, things are not likely to get any better. I am always going to be plagued by patient's lists, always going to be caught out by the 'oh there's just one more thing doctor', always going to long for the last patient of the morning and the promise of lunch and a coffee, desperately hoping that no home visit requests come up.

There is one chapter called 'Things I really like about General Practice'. It's two pages long.


  1. I have just read this book and have exactly the same thoughts as yourself. I am a partly retired GP. I lent the book to my younger partner. I think that David Copperfield is actually 2 GP's

  2. You're absolutely right, he is (they are)… In truth I think he is 1000's of GP's!

  3. and just which one are you describing as "nearing the end of his career"? :-)

    Glad you enjoyed the book though!

  4. Yeah, absolutely, neither of us are nearing the end of our careers! We have so much to look forward to, and now enforced commissioning, too, where's that razor..?

  5. Ooops, I wondered if that would happen! Well, you're nearer to the end than me at any rate (I'm told it's poor form to retire in your 30's…)

  6. Thanks for the kind comments PP - much appreciated