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11.48 Are GPs the last General Physicians?

Nottingham GP Dr Jonathan Harte, back from his visit to the nursing home, celebrates the sheer variety of general practice

Back from the nursing home ward round - luckily it’s right next door so no time was wasted travelling (though that can be a double-edged sword because we’re always on hand when visits are requested). Not bad today, just eight residents to review and the new matron to meet.

I’ve felt for many years now that we are the General Physicians of old, one of the last specialties that looks at all the patient systems and tries to make sense of the patient as a whole. Our local geriatric service is another and they offer support to the enhanced support to care homes scheme in Nottingham.

Back in the office, call back requests await and there are also prescription queries from a local pharmacy. Roll on the Electronic Prescription Service next week - hopefully lost scripts will become a thing of the past.

Just time to write up the notes from the ward round before my weekly minor op case. Variety is the spice of general practice life.

Readers' comments (2)

  • Took Early Retirement

    You are dead right mate: we ARE the General Physicians now, and that is something I am quite pleased about. I am soooooooooo glad I decided to become a GP in 1984, having started on the hospital physician career path first. Can you imagine being an "Upper GI Gastroenterologist", or a Hepatologist who just deals with viral disease? BORING!

    And isn't it GREAT to be able to work in a low- tech environment, where you often know the patient, at least a bit and sometimes very well, making diagnoses without using a CT scanner, but simple bloods and imaging, plus the old-fashioned idea of a history and examination. (Though mainly the history, I grant you.) And no nurse manager with a clipboard standing over you trying to tell you your job?

    John G FRCP FRCGP and shortly to be Ret'd and then FRCGOG- Fellow of the Royal College of Grumpy Old Gits.

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  • Pipin Singh

    Couldn't agree more! Definitely the last of the general physicians managing the person as a whole and also their families; taking the whole lot into consideration when making a decision.

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