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At the heart of general practice since 1960

24. Dr Dom Patterson

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Amid unrelenting negativity for general practice, it may seem strange to launch a campaign to highlight the positives.

But that is what Yorkshire GP Dr Dom Patterson is doing with his #whygp campaign, which calls upon GPs to tell the world through social media and stories submitted to his blog why they like being a GP, despite all the problems the profession is facing.

It was by no means an attempt to sweep the problems under the carpet – indeed, he says he is ‘no crisis denier’ (the very first words on his website are ‘general practice is in crisis’)

He says: ‘We are all so tired and overworked that we struggle to communicate those aspects of general practice that we still love and still motivate us— to tell the stories of positive moments that help us through our darkest times.’

And, against all odds, it has taken off. It’s been seized upon by the RCGP and some GPC members despite for a more positive message. The blog has had thousands of views and the #whygp hashtag is a part of the twitter furniture now, with numerous tweets a day extolling the virtues of the profession.

Some even put the recent slight increase in filled training places down to him. One GP said they were nominating him ‘for the longevity in the success of his #whygp campaign, which may have contributed to the rise in GP specialty training applications’.

That may go a bit far, but Dr Patterson has become a vital counter-voice in the profession to all the gloom and doom.

Why influential: His project provides ‘an island of positivity in a sea of negativity’, as his blog puts it

Surprising fact: Has set up a local version of Scotland’s Deep End project – whose GPs ‘care for the people who slip through the cracks in society’

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