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I'm starting to feel like a proper GP

In his first days as fully qualified GP our diarist has decided to work as a locum back at his old practice. If only he could choose the patients...

In his first days as fully qualified GP our diarist has decided to work as a locum back at his old practice. If only he could choose the patients...

The alarm began its telltale song and up I bounded. You see, I am ever ready and keen to treat the sick, poor and depressed of Britain . I had just begun my morning's exercises (fumbling about on the dresser, floor, bed and windowsill for my glasses) when my wife blearily said: ‘It seems awfully dark outside'.

And dark it was. I should have guessed that all was not right, given the suspicious silence from Gabriel's room. You see, he is ever ready and keen to get us up at some point well before the alarm clock rings and treat us to a stiff breakfast experience of oats on the floor, oats on the windows, oats on the ceiling and occasionally oats in his mouth.

So it was with some vague disappointment that I fished out my watch to discover that my ultra-fancy purple alarm clock was running about three hours fast. It self-tunes to a radio beacon, but must have picked up the one in the Ukraine by accident. My disappointment stems from the fact that I am actually working these days.

This is temporary, but a good thing. I like working. I seem to have discovered a latent streak of work ethic.

I am actually working back at my old surgery for a bit, and it's been terrific. A surprisingly large number of my old patients seem to have sensed the fact that I was back and booked in. You could say this is because I begged a few of them to come back and see me when I returned (shameless, I know). But then, there are also a large number that I forbid to evercome back. And like it or not, they are coming back.

One of my regulars has come back and asked me to sort out her intestinal candidiasis. This GP business must be rubbing off on me: a year ago I would have said ‘Oh yes, now climb up onto my magic carpet and let me sprinkle fairy dust on your naughty, naughty tummy. Then we'll get Tinkerbell to come in and take some bloods.' Now, and my former colleagues would be proud or maybe stunned by this, I said instead: ‘Right – let's talk about this condition and find out what your hopes, ideas and concerns are'.

I even managed to maintain a demeanour of considered caring right up until the bit where she said ‘…and clearly the candida is in my back too, causing back ache. and in my nose making me snore.'

I have to confess I just about lost it then. But I am getting better, honest.

And now Uncle Geoff's advice bit. All locums have to register as self-employed with the revenue service. Did you know this? I certainly didn't. And the bit about implanting a chip in the arm so they can track you down night and day came as a real surprise. (Okay, just kidding – but the first bit is true and if you don't there's a fine of £100)

Dr Geoff Tipper is a newly qualified GP in Maidenhead, Berkshire

Dr Geoff Tipper Dr Geoff Tipper

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