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How did it ever come to this?

I have just seen a healthy asymptomatic man who attended with his wife for review after an adjustment of his antihyperlipidaemic medication as primary prevention.

After a cursory, almost subliminal, glance at his results I issued a repeat prescription and told him all was well. I was jolted back into consciousness by his parting comment: 'Can I book a holiday now? We want to go away.'

He explained that he was told by a doctor not to travel until his cholesterol was sorted out. What are we doing to our patients? How did we ever end up here?

Dr Christopher Pelton, sessional GP, Shropshire

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