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Independents' Day


Dr Stefan Cembrowicz

... on Ulysses, pacemakers, and Christmas memories

The most annoying thing about being a GP is acts of God, the

PCT and the growth of

neo-Stalinism in the NHS.

The strangest request for help I've received is someone asking me to treat their tortoise with a broken shell. They had hit it with a lawn mower and didn't dare take it to the vet.

The best thing about my practice is it's vibrant – it's probably best I don't work somewhere more salubrious.

The worst thing about my practice is there's lots of shouting and broken glass in the street.

The trait I most dislike in myself is obsessive idleness.

The book I'm reading at the moment is Ned Sherrin in his anecdotage and Ulysses by James Joyce.

My most treasured possession is my car, a 1948 Bristol two-litre.

The best thing about working in an inner-city practice is great staff who opt in rather than opt out and who want to march towards the sound of gunfire.

The greatest threat to general practice is anything that disempowers doctor-patient relationships.

The time and place I was happiest is here and now.

My greatest achievement is staying put at my practice for 30 years.

My guiltiest pleasure is chocolate.

My greatest fear is the dark.

I relax by swimming, riding my Moulton bicycle, drinking claret, ferreting in car boot sales, spannering my Bristol and best of all, looking out of the window.

In 10 years from now I will be better ask my pacemaker technician.

The future of general practice is keep ducking and weaving lads, they can't overwhelm us.

My best memory of general practice at Christmas is getting half a pint of cold urine with

a very heavy protein count thrown over me by a patient with alcoholic psychosis on Christmas night.


• Dr Stefan Cembrowicz is a GP in Montpelier, inner-city Bristol

• He has a special interest in depression and mental health services

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