Seen the light
@another statistic & Iain - don't get me started on PAG.
I had a full licence to practice, no undertakings, no restrictions and had emerged from the GMC process only to be interrogated by the PAG team.
Basically it came down to "let me go back to work or we're all going to court, I've had enough". Went back to work the next week - completely useless idiots on a power trip.
The GMC must be able to realise that ALL doctors are vulnerable - being investigated is a devastating experience in which a doctor can lose all sense of identity, purpose, self-esteem and control.
When I was investigated (and then sanctioned) it was almost like an out-of-body experience.Some very unpleasant aspects of the medical profession are exposed in the process and I quickly realised how naive I was.
I was amazed when I had suicidal thoughts - and even more amazed that these thoughts were so rational. It just seemed like the most sensible course of action was to kill myself.
Despair then turned quickly to being completely pissed-off at the medical profession along with a steely determination not to let those events define my life. However, I can see how some doctors would commit suicide - even if there was no previous history of self-harm. We are trained to see personal difficulty as a weakness to be overcome with working harder than ever.
The GMC takes no responsibility at all and their correspondence is chilling. I've not even opened some of their letters and it was 6 years ago!
Change does need to come but the GMC cannot see how damaging they are.
I have never regretted resigning my RCGP membership.
Hopeless government lackeys.
My limit is 30 with no visits and I'm beginning to think that is potentially unsafe on some days.
As humans we make mistakes - nobody is perfect. In fact, I was always taught that learning from mistakes is what matters.
This ruling will destroy that ethos. Medical practice will move to shun all risk and over-investigate/treat/admit etc.
How awful for this doctor.
Great article - have signed this petition.
I've been through the GMC - I believe they have their own political agenda and over-ride the FTP panel and even their own guidance. The power they have over doctors is unreal and I believe doctors acquiesce far too easily to the GMC due to fear and hopelessness - I certainly did.
I wonder if it's because we are brain-washed and our altruistic natures are taken advantage of by successive governments. Questioning the status-quo is seen as something that "good" doctors do not do.
We sacrifice ourselves for little financial reward and are crucified if anything goes wrong.
I have a friend who's an Emergency Medicine physician in the USA - his indemnity is ~5% of his income. I'm a locum GP currently doing 4 sessions a week - my indemnity is ~15% of my paltry income.
This is one of the issues that has pushed me to leave GP - 11 sessions to go and counting - and set up a private business instead.
I'll look into taking out insurance instead and engaging a solicitor as I need one.
To think that 20 years ago, all I wanted was to be a partner!! Sad.
It's the outcomes of the referrals that matter. Analyse this then work backwards to determine if the referral was appropriate or not. Also take into consideration whether the patient was seen for the same reason by a different doctor earlier and why weren't they referred then.
I did this as an audit exercise when I was a partner - myself + five other partners.
What I found out was that it was practically impossible to change someone's referral habits.
.... "sit on your back step at three o'clock in the morning thinking your family would be better off if you were dead."
This happens. The only scary thing is that thinking like this feels so RATIONAL.
GET OUT NOW.
If only all GPs would change their lives before crashing as I did.
Mav sums it up perfectly.
Being mentored was the best thing ever to happen to me in my medical career. Sadly, I was not aware of it until after I had imploded through over-work.
I think mentoring should be compulsory from day 1 of our careers and not something that is found when a doctor has "failed" in some way.
Hmmm... Can't believe I'm typing this but I'd be interested as long as there was indemnity/training provided. Could be a nice addition to a portfolio career. Also good to have holiday/sick pay etc....
I think the biggest issue I'd have is that I think like a GP and would want to get a patient sorted out - not bounced back to primary care if that's not appropriate.
I love Groundhog Day - my favourite movie. Unlike GPs, Bill Murray does at least DO SOMETHING to improve his life.
I think that the vast majority of GPs will just carry on, subconsciously enjoying their suffering until something major happens - eg, burn out/depression on a personal note or imposition of salaried status at 50% of pay on a profession-wide front.
So funny when he's doing the jazz piano solo.
Have doctors really been referred to the GMC in this scenario?? If they have that is utterly deplorable and those responsible should realise exactly what they put the doctor and his family through.
I left partnership following burn out/GMC referral. I cannot describe how terrifying and degrading the experience was.
Working as a locum afterwards was a breath of fresh air in comparison but I'm even winding that down following the latest IR35 changes (which no practice wants).
No more GP after December for me and no new bookings either (unless I really, really like the practice).
Time to move on to the next phase of my career - after 21 years as a GP I'm excited to be leaving. Says it all.
I know too.
There is the chance at appraisal to look at a doctor's mental and physical health and then be proactive about change - rather than waiting for implosion. Appraisal focuses on minor things and avoids addressing the important issues. It could be MUCH more supportive.
Believing that it would be best for you and everyone you know if you were dead was pretty grim.
Keep up the good work Clare.
As a result of this my fees are going up by 15% and I'm more committed than ever to leave the NHS. Never thought I'd say that.
Hmmm...- only just learned of this.
I'd have to rely on practices paying my NI and tax correctly whereas at the moment PMs like the simplicity of dealing with my company (no pension/NI/tax etc). Not very confident they'll do this.
I may try increasing my fees but this may be the push for me to leave NHS/public work altogether and just work privately.
What a brilliant piece - you have exactly caught the zeitgeist of General Practice.
I especially liked the line..
"Now, we don’t care about money because things are so crappy we just need to get out."
This is so very true. At one point I was contemplating being a gardener but stayed in GP after leaving partnership and taking a 50% pay cut.
Far happier now and I could never be enticed back to my old role. I too have kids/mortgage and this held me back but I have coped.
To all contemplating the move - go for it. Change is scary and takes time but is worth it.
Pointless bodies doing pointless work. How many GPs really think this is important??
Have resigned from both and this does not make me want to start paying subscriptions again.
Dear Fed Up @ 12.24,
Plenty of GPs just like you - I was. (FT Partner, stressed+++, snappy, never saw family etc). Used to dream of "doing something else" but it took being sued and going through a GMC disciplinary investigation to make me take the leap. Now I work PT on my terms, have claimed my (hard-earned) pension early and am re-training to develop a parallel medical career and business in the private sector (aviation). Would never go back to FT GP Partner role - I just couldn't cope and it was very difficult to admit that. Now I enjoy my life and medicine. Plan your exit and go for it. Good luck!
Thanks Kevin - this was brilliant and made me laugh.
Loved the bit about the match box.