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CAMHS won't see you now

Dr David Haslam

... on obesity, zinfandel and screenaholism

... on obesity, zinfandel and screenaholism

My idea of perfect happiness is getting the balance right between family and work, keeping on top of things and not getting too downtrodden with humdrum general practice.

The best thing about my practice is it's small, it's rural – in leafy Hertfordshire – and we get to know all our patients.

My greatest fear is that we're seeing people at five- or 10-minute intervals, we've no idea what's going to be wrong with them and in that time you can't be comprehensive on the risks of the drugs you're giving or procedures you're performing.

The trait I most deplore in myself is I'm extremely impatient.

The trait I most deplore in others is slowness.

The persistently incurable is the most annoying thing about being a GP.

My most treasured possession is apart from the family, my violin.

My favourite word is zinfandel [a rather fine wine].

My guiltiest pleasure is zinfandel again.

My most unappealing habit is swearing.

The book I'm reading at the moment is a Freddy Forsyth book, for about six months, but I'm nowhere near the end because there's always too much else to do.

My favourite fictional doctor is the doctor from Viz.

The single thing that would most improve the quality of my life is longer evenings, so cricket matches can go on longer and the kids get more exercise.

I became interested in obesity because an obese patient of mine, 35, breathless and sweaty with yellow, stained fingers, said to me: 'Oh Doctor, you've got to help me – I've got a terrible runny nose.' I thought: 'If only that was what was really wrong with you.'

The best way to deal with obesity is screening – I'm a screenaholic.

I relax by zinfandel, again. And cricket, music and the kids.


• Dr David Haslam is clinical director of the National Obesity Forum and a GP in Watton-at-Stone in Hertfordshire

• He has been a key figure in the push for more weight management in primary care

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