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Revalidation is starting to feel like a primary school exercise

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Aw, bless, she’s wearing one of those woolly hats with long dangly sides and animal ears - a massive improvement on the ‘Porn Star’ T-shirt she was wearing when I saw her in the summer.

I think I might have mentioned in passing that I didn’t feel that a sequinned declaration that she was up for a videotaped spitroast was entirely appropriate, seeing as she was only 8-years-old.

So I go for an ice-breaker: ‘That’s a very nice hat. Are you a wolf?’

Mum sauntered behind her into the consulting room, if it’s possible to saunter whilst wearing a huge pair of Ugg boots, sporting almost identical headgear. More feline than lupine, but fluffy and ‘wuvvly’ and looking altogether ridiculous on somebody well beyond nursery school age.

Zeitgeist-wise, it seems that infantile is the way to go. Who knows why. Maybe it’s because soaring house prices mean that children live at home until they’re almost into middle age. Apron strings don’t get cut, umbilical cords don’t detach. Freudians, if there were any left to ask, would have a field day watching people dress themselves like their children as a way of avoiding adult responsibilities.

Those of you who follow the @DocCopperfield account on Twitter will already know that my original appraisal submission has been returned to me for redaction. One of the many entries that my appraiser-to-be had problems with was the one outlining, in some detail, my complete lack of interest in providing ‘reflections’ on my learning experiences. It’s not a mandatory requirement, revalidation-wise, but it’s strongly recommended so I can ‘get the most out of the appraisal experience’. Meh. In fact, double meh.

I don’t want to get anything out of the appraisal experience. Frankly I’d much rather get out of the appraisal experience altogether.

If I have to suck it up and go through it then I’m perfectly happy to supply details of the educational courses I’ve attended, show my contemporaneous notes to anybody who fancies a look and even show them what I wrote in the ‘What did you learn from today’s meeting’ bit of the feedback sheets. Even if it was only that Dr X from The X Park Health Centre should really go and see someone about his snoring before he falls asleep at the wheel and wipes out an innocent family at the bus stop. What I’m not about to do is sit down and write a letter home to mummy about what I learned at big school today.

And last night I asked Teddy, Eeyore and Fluffy Bunny what they thought, and they all agreed with me. So there.

Dr Tony Copperfield is a GP in Essex. You can email him at tonycopperfield@hotmail.com and follow him on Twitter @DocCopperfield.

Readers' comments (8)

  • Life expectancy would now be 100 [ not 80 ], had re-validation been introduced sooner.

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  • Has anonymous been through the revalidation process? I have and am sure it hasn't improved my life expectancy and have significant doubts about what it will have done for that of my patients.

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  • Dr. Copperfield you make me smile with your blatant honesty and glorious insight. I would follow your leadership any day! Love, Dr. W x

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  • Revalidation is aimed at the lowest common denominator - total tick the box and don't be too clever...

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  • Only joking about the life expectancy

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  • I thought reflection was what light did from a mirror. I do not learn something on line or attend a meeting without thinking about what was said or written. I am not just a tape recorder. I often at least partially, disagree with some of these pundits. "I think therefore I am" according to at least one philosopher. What is this reflecting lark?

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  • Thanks for the tip. Thought " reflections" we're mandatory. I'll be pleased to report that they aren't really part of my personal learning style!

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  • I have spent 4 hours today of wasted time trying to scan and link a shedload of documents onto the Clarity toolkit.I do feel very frustrated that our previously noble profession has lost control of itself.Do the collegues who think this nonsense up think I have nothing better to do with my time apart from go through a completely pointless exercise?.I hear it is costing the NHS one billion pounds that wont be being used on patients.Its nothing short of a scandal.Bring in GP mentoring and throw out this form filling buracracy.

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From: Copperfield

Dr Tony Copperfield is a jobbing GP in Essex with more than a few chips on his shoulder