Cookie policy notice

By continuing to use this site you agree to our cookies policy below:
Since 26 May 2011, the law now states that cookies on websites can ony be used with your specific consent. Cookies allow us to ensure that you enjoy the best browsing experience.

This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

Tired all the time? That's just general practice

  • Print
  • Comments (5)
  • Rate
  • Save

Anyone else get sympathy symptoms? Like when the penny drops that the rash you’re manhandling is actually scabies and suddenly your own skin’s hosting an imaginary chorus line of feverishly-Charlestoning arthropods? This is always happening to me. No sooner do I see a patient limp in with sciatica than my hitherto quiescent bad back gets stiffer than David Cameron watching Charlotte’s Web. Worst of all, though, is the patient who makes me realise that I, too, am ‘tired all the time’.

Most of my adult life has been conducted in varying states of fatigue

Not through some anxiously-Googled hormone imbalance, but because I was up until midnight doing the Docman letters I’d left unfinished in order to get home in time to deliver the nightly fix of Gruffalo that now constitutes the highlight of my social calendar, and then found myself in the gym at 6am in the Sisyphean struggle to offset the several subsequent hours spent sat sedentary listening to people tell me how tired they are.

Thinking about it, most of my adult life has been conducted in varying states of fatigue. Tired of tying up the hospital’s loose ends. Tired of pointless appraisal hoop-jumping. Tired of the constant spectre of litigation. I’m a regular medical Lili Von Shtupp.

It seems that the BMA have cottoned on to this, with a highly-publicised suggestion to cap the number of patients we see in a day. To be honest, actually seeing and treating people is one bit of the job I still have time for, but anything which reduces my workload looks like a good thing right now. What we definitely don’t need is more work.

Which is why I was alarmed to read that, as a GP trainer and educational supervisor, the proposed new junior doctor contract gives me the responsibility to award my hospital-based ST1s extra pay or time off when they find themselves working above their contracted hours. Check it yourself – page 33. I’m not convinced this is going to work: my local hospital don’t even trust me to request an MRI, yet suddenly they’re going to give me control over their juniors’ rotas and payroll? But given the ubiquity of routine unpaid junior overtime, I can easily envisage this new responsibility rapidly spiralling into a huge amount of unfunded extra work, and a further massive pain in my already overtired posterior.

Oh well. At least it’ll give me something to think about the next time someone comes in with piles. 

Dr Pete Deveson is a GP in Surrey. You can follow him on Twitter @PeteDeveson

Rate this blog  (4.74 average user rating)

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

Readers' comments (5)

  • John Glasspool

    Spot on. AND you must make sure they are not being radicalized.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • "Stiffer than David Cameron watching Charlotte's web."

    This poetic little barb made my Day, Pete. Cheers.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • John Glasspool

    Yes, I thought that VERY good too!!!!! Just forgot to mention it.

    John- Currently on holiday in Cockermouth.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • As an educational supervisor I will do exactly that........supervise education. I will absolutely not play any part in reviewing work schedules! Another load of nonsense!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Spot on!
    Most GPs share the same sentiments. By the way don't forget to check their immigration status and forget your social worker bug carrying role by calling them to provide useless information that either an administrator or a tweak in the IT system, they can see in the notes.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

  • Print
  • Comments (5)
  • Rate
  • Save