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Independents' Day

The least surprising exit

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So this is a bit weird. I join you in the middle – or, hopefully, near the end – of one of those dreams. You know, the sort where you’re looking forward to waking up, because all sorts of strange and unpleasant and stressful things are happening. A bit like Monday morning surgery.

No, I haven’t started believing in elves

Anyway, the dream story so far. First, Britain has voted to leave the EU. I know. Bear with me. This is my subconscious recharging, remember? I have no control over what it conjures up. Besides, it gets weirder. Next, England has been knocked out of the Euros. By, like, Iceland. Seriously. That’s a country where 54% of the population believe in elves and 0% of the population (even the elves) believed they could beat England.

And, finally, my dream went somewhere even more bizarre. Specifically, to a Pulse survey which revealed that over half of GP partners are willing to go salaried if offered the right deal. OK, so the key phrase there is, ‘offered the right deal’. Because, if that deal involves £200k p.a., all-you-can-eat Hobnobs and a night out with Rachel Riley, then it’s mystifying why only 51% said ‘yes’.  Nonetheless. That’s a real attitude shift.

But, compared to Brexit and Engxit, partnexit is maybe the least surprising. Young GPs see knackered, over-stretched and angst-ridden partners and unsurprisingly prefer to sign on the dotted salaried line. And, being one of those knackered, over-stretched and angst-ridden partners – rendered so by financial uncertainty, micromanagement, constant change and terrifying liabilities – I’ve reached the point where I’d seriously consider a pay cut if there was a similar cut in my stress levels. Even if they took Rachel Riley out of the deal.

No, I haven’t started believing in elves. I’m still rational. I realise that going salaried might feel like selling my soul - but general practice is already a soulless existence, so what’s the difference?

But leaving Europe. And losing to Iceland. Ha! Hilarious. Not sure why I can’t emerge from this dream, though. What I’ll do is chuck myself off a tall building. Nasty falling feeling, but you always wake up before you hit the ground. Don’t you?

Dr Tony Copperfield is a GP in Essex. You can follow him on Twitter @DocCopperfield 

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Readers' comments (9)

  • It might be the least surprising of the list, but the number of GPs/Nurses exiting the country/profession is the least surprising exit of all.

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  • “Nasty falling feeling” - more or less sums up why I stopped being a partner.

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  • who is rachel riley?

    - anonymous salaried!

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  • This comment has been removed by the moderator

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  • Rachel Riley would appear to be a presenter on a show called Countdown - clearly Dr Copperfield must be a fan, though how he does it, I don't know - rarely have time to watch TV!!

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  • @"Anonymous | Other GP30 Jun 2016 12:39pm

    who is rachel riley?"

    I find it alarming that a GP like yourself was unable to find this information for themsleves!

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  • 12:39 asks who Rachel Riley is - and 1:02’s reply has to be removed the moderator.
    That’s why this has to be anonymous, Nigel ;-)

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  • Vinci Ho

    Learn the lesson how dirty politics can go:
    Read this must read article from BBC News:

    Tory leadership: Behind the scenes of Johnson-Gove drama
    By Mark Mardell
    Presenter, The World This Weekend
    I thought I was bad being addicted to GOT
    Justice Golf is officially Theon Greyjoy

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  • As a GP on the other side of the world, (but who has family in London), I can completely understand Brexit. When we visited London in 2011, my strongest feeling everywhere I went was... "where are all the English folk gone?" I found them out in the small towns and country.

    As to Iceland putting England out of Euro 2016 - sometimes even a minow can roar. Don't forget which is the only country, (with just 4 million people), to have won the Rugby World Cup three times, both home and away, and back to back..!

    As to being a salaried GP. From my point of view, (sadly too late now for me, as I am about to retire), I have always felt that a salaried position was the most appropriate way to remunerate GP. I nearly went broke serving a lower socioeconomic area in NZ, years ago, (too many unpaid accounts that was), and things are not that much better here now in Australia as our patient subsidies have been CPI frozen a further two years until 2020. In all cases the culprit have been under-funding, while costs continue to rise, right..? The only protection from this is for the GP's salary to be quarantined, and costs met separately. No wonder hardly anyone wants to be a partner over there now, as you are all in the same underfunded boat.

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From: Copperfield

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