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Monday, 13 September 2010


Life as a rural GP sometimes feels like life in a goldfish bowl. To be honest, life for anyone in a rural community is pretty fair game for comment by anyone to everyone at any time. For example, a few years ago I went to an 80's night fund raiser for a local school dressed as Siouxie Siou of Banshees fame. Torn Fishnets, black DM's , three pencils worth of kohl, back-combed hair and a bin bag. Hidden by my new persona I danced like a demon all night, had a brilliant time and then taxi'd everyone home.

The Lovely Siouxsie

Monday morning surgery.
MR X, review appointment, 10 am
" Morning Doc, I saw you on Saturday night, you looked like you'd had a right skinful" (assume reference to my fancy dress and strange dancing)

ME (few remnants of Kohl round eyes)
"Actually I was driving on Saturday night Mr X, that's what I'm like when I am sober!"
I can't remember if I have seen him since!

Although I can now see the funny side it does illustrate what it feels like living and working in a small community. It's a well stocked minefield. At what point does looking as if you are pissed at a party , or even getting pissed at a party where everyone is registered at your practice constitute unprofessional behaviour?
The GMC guidance advises doctors to maintain professional boundaries, and yet as the nearest practices to us are 25 miles away all my friends are patients. Am I allowed to fall out with people? Can I tell them to fuck off  without being referred to the GMC?

"You must not express to your patients your personal beliefs, including political, religious or moral beliefs, in ways that exploit their vulnerability or that are likely to cause them distress"
Does this include posting that I am an atheist on facebook or commenting that Tony Blair should be tried for war crimes? I have stopped posting anything other than Jam recipes and updates on the dog since a patient messaged me to say that they found my comment regarding The Pope, Africa and condoms offensive.

However I survive, both professionally and personally. In fact I choose my friends very carefully, join a book group out of my practice area  and get pissed in private- largely! As for my political and religeous views, I now hide them in the medical blogosphere, shielded in part.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Happy Blogday

So today is the first day of my blogging life. Like so many cybertrends before it I wonder how long I'll last and wonder if I will still twitter and facebook. Started the day at an ARCP panel for GP registrars. This is a kind of review process for learning that trainee GP's have done. The people at the Deanery are surprisingly human and nice and give me free reign over a box of Heroes to help maintain my attention span. Good to see how other registrars are faring compared to the ones in Peaky Practice.  The day only gets better as I meet A New Kind of GP for a champagne lunch ( there is a big 0 birthday looming for one of us) and sense the irony that this is exactly what politicians think GP's do all day anyway. ( It is actually my day off, dont panic) Luckily I manage to find the correct bus afterwards and make it home for a nap.