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CAMHS won't see you now

GPs suspect hospitals are 'gaming'

I was interested to read the letter from Atharv Tillu ('Why so much negativity over general practice?', August 20) on my return from my summer holiday.

First, I would like to express relief that someone who is so articulate and clued up has (so far) decided that general practice is the career for him. It worries me sometimes that we still get more than our fair share of trainees who feel general practice is just something they should go into because their hospital career didn't work out.

Don't get me wrong, we do get a lot of good GPs who fall into general practice in this very manner, but there do seem to be more and more coming in. However, Atharv seems to have a pretty good idea of what GP land involved, especially as his mother is a GP.

I can only assume she is incredibly sensible and tries to keep his enthusiasm alive by stopping him from reading Pulse and other such publications.

He mentions the negativity he encounters surrounding general practice as a career choice. What he didn't mention (but I will) is the thundering amount of negativity, doom and gloom we are faced with every week in the first half of our papers.

I (and fellow course organisers) have advised our trainees not to bother looking at the 'news bits' in the GP press as we are worried that they would get an incredibly skewed view of how GPs survive.

I know that drama looks better on the front pages but in a profession where morale is supposed to be an issue, don't you think you should be doing your bit to keep us all going?

(I do, however, advise the trainees to read the education bits in Pulse ­ they're very useful. See, it doesn't all have to be doom and gloom!)

Dr Charlotte Hart

GP and Course Organiser

Shropshire VTS

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