This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

Of course GPs are victims - of smear tactics

So - do GPs have a victim mentality.

No we don't. You're not paranoid if they really are out to get you, and they really are out to get us.

Every GP except Dr Van Winkle is familiar with the litany of anti-GP smear that has appeared in the media over the past few years that can only have come from Government sources.

The media and the Government are in an unholy alliance. The former needs to fill column inches, hence the silly season when Parliament is in recess, and the latter routinely uses media briefings to influence public opinion, weaken its enemies and curry favour with the electorate.

Maybe we should be gratified that the Government thinks we're important enough to smear. We don't threaten it directly so any perceived threat must be indirect.

In the interview with Dr Laurence Buckman in last week's Pulse, I notice he says the most important element of his professional life is his relationship with his patients.

Perhaps that's it - GPs are popular, politicians often aren't. A combination of envy and a desire to put someone down may be at the root of the anti-GP smear campaign.

After all, if you can put someone down it can only elevate your own status. This is especially important if your overriding goal is to get re-elected.

Perhaps politicians don't worry that their antics may harm patient care as they believe GPs really are dedicated professionals who wouldn't let a bit of political manure interfere with the delivery of patient care.

At the same time, we must be open to change if it's likely to improve patient care and increase professional satisfaction.

Primary care has improved immensely during my professional lifetime through the application of clinical evidence and careful examination of clinical outcomes. The side-effect of this is that GPs' work will be under increasingly careful scrutiny.

There should be no need to be concerned about this, as we have nothing clinically to hide, unless the process becomes an end in itself and interferes with best medical care.

Some GPs have a victim mentality, says Dr David Colin-Thome. But if, as he says, being a GP is so blooming marvellous why has he retired from the profession?

Dr Lewis Miller, Belfast

Rate this article 

Click to rate

  • 1 star out of 5
  • 2 stars out of 5
  • 3 stars out of 5
  • 4 stars out of 5
  • 5 stars out of 5

0 out of 5 stars

Have your say