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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Dr Phil Brookes

...on Hewitt, drug addiction and the Bible

...on Hewitt, drug addiction and the Bible

The best thing about my practice is coffee time at 10.30am. We all stop every morning to shoot the breeze, make decisions, moan or whatever is needed. Helps relationships no end.

And the worst is shift F5 and other tricks to turn consultations almost completely doctor-centred.

The person that has influenced me most is Professor John Walker, who taught general practice in the 1970s in Newcastle. He passed on the GP bug.

A common misconception about drug and alcohol addiction is that it can't be treated – it can, and is certainly no more difficult than, say, diabetes.Treatment of drug and alcohol addiction in primary care must become resourced, supported and well structured.

The most interesting thing about my work is travel advice. I've worked in India, Nepal, St Helena Island and Germany, so I'm considered the practice expert. It's great advising folk about their trips – although I usually run late afterwards!

The legalisation of all drugs in the UK would be an unmitigated disaster – let's not head down that road, please.

The trait I most dislike in myself is being a grumpy old man.

The trait I most dislike in others is not appreciating my wisdom.

My best feature is my 'sparkling wit' (wife, ironically...), 'gentle eyes' (daughter), 'your money' (son).

Patricia Hewitt is the most annoying thing about being a GP.

The vehicle I own is a 10-year-old VW Sharan, versatile and economical, but I cycle to work at least half the time.

My most treasured possession is my passport.

My least attractive habit is speaking before thinking.

My favourite phrase is 'compound interest'.

The book I'm reading at the moment is The Constant Gardener by John Le Carré and the Bible (every day).

My guiltiest pleasure is salty snacks of all descriptions.

If I could do one thing to change the world, it would be stop global warming.

My greatest achievement is yet to happen.

The best meal I've ever eaten was cooked by my wife, obviously.

Heartburn keeps me awake at night.My favourite fictional doctor is Dr Andrew Manson from The Citadel (which should be read by all doctors at least once).

I relax by running, cycling, walking and skiing.

My most vivid schooldays memory is camping in Wensleydale, where I fell in love with wilderness and the great outdoors.

The guests at my ideal dinner party would be washing up afterwards and bringing good champagne.If I wasn't a GP, I'd be a ski bum.

CV

• Part-time GP in Newcastle

• Works at drug and alcohol addiction unit in the city

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