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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Only choice left is fight or flight

From Dr Hari Nawal, Bedford, Bedfordshire

Present-day GPs have been transformed into medical robots programmed to perform endless tasks and worthless data collection duties. It is

a pity that time restraint and extra demands are driving us away from real clinical contact with our patients. Our earning ability in recent years has enticed many of us to work to the limit of our endurance.

We are left bewildered with

the gradual transformation

of our profession over this decade. Sadly the family practice of the past is not the same any more.

The medical press tells it all with regard to GPs' distressing plight – our annoyance, dissatisfaction and declining morale. Work and play have converted into work and work, holidays have become shorter and for some none at all. Nights have become sleepless because the QOF rumbles on

in our ever confused brains, and getting up in the morning is not pleasant either.

PCT eyes are gazing constantly from next door

and monitoring us to the millimetre. Never before could we imagine that doctors would go through such a difficult phase in their career. Seemingly, we are becoming submissive to Government bashings, unilateral directives and threats (the zero per cent pay rise, pension disquiet, and private push) – with more anticipated uncertainties

to follow.

Evidently we are not only mentally and physically exhausted, but it is also taking its toll on family life. No amount of hard-earned wealth will ever compensate this loss in the years ahead. Wise are those who chose to retire early, but some are struggling with an incessant urge to earn more while they can. We are only left with two options : fight or flight. If we cannot fight; retiring early to save our sanity seems to be the next best option.

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