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How to write a Pulse blog - and get five stars!

Dr Sarah Merrifield

Ever wondered how to be the most popular blogger in town? Want to avoid the sharp spears of anonymous keyboard warriors? Always dreamt of making it to the top of the Pulse ‘Most Popular’ chart? Well here’s a helpful step by step guide to talk you through it:

Step 1: Preferably have an X and Y chromosome. Having XX is ok, as long as you’re not too opinionated and don’t mention your partner in several articles.

Step 2: The older you are the better, although you should be at least 40. Any younger and you’re probably too naïve, immature or inexperienced to have opinions. Silly kids. (NB Writing anonymous, personal comments on other blogs is a very mature thing to do, don’t worry).

Step 3: Get yourself a black and white photo. Concerned yet slightly mournful is the look you’re ideally going for. A twinge of a smile is ok but this should not under any circumstances make you look smug, or worst of all, happy. GPs are not happy.

Step 4: Diss the Government, RCGP, HEE, CCG, LMC or any other large organisation/acronym that springs to mind. Why aren’t they doing anything to help?! Gits.

Step 5: Continue the dissing. Don’t forget those GPs who do other things aside from their clinical work. How dare they? Lazy scamps. Do some real work!

Step 6: Clearly state how shit everything is at the moment.

Step 7: Frown on all new models of working, new roles and locums. Emphasise how good the small business model is and how well it’s worked for years.

Step 8: Tell a negative story of modern patients but remind everyone that the patient is always your first concern. You are a saint-like GP after all.

Step 9: Edit post to convey a cynical yet light-hearted, humorous tone.

Step 10: Remind everyone how shit everything is at the moment. They might have forgotten since Step 6 (add a bit more dissing at this point if it helps).

Step 11: Sit back and enjoy the comments about how wonderful you are and what an excellent article you’ve written, *sigh*.

Dr Sarah Merrifield is a GP leadership fellow in Yorkshire

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Readers' comments (29)

  • Alternatively just be yourself and not give a sh*t what others think about you.

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  • What a snide passive-aggressive article taking cheap shots at more successful bloggers. Perhaps they are more popular because GPs agree with the sentiment that general practice is on its knees and the powers that be seem to have a complete disregard for those at the coal face. You've just basically insulted everyone who reads and likes the blogs. Well done for giving women bloggers a bad name with your snarky article.

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  • North of the Wall

    So, basically, ouroboros-like, you're criticising others for criticising things?

    I look forward to your future blogs, those with some original content. Clearly, they will be free of criticism, otherwise you'd just just be leaving yourself open to accusations of rank hypocrisy.

    Oh... wait...

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  • You haven't told me your name or relationship status! After all, you have stayed that as a reader it is essential that I know this information before I decide if your blog is a pike of wank or not? You have successfully insulted the other bloggers and the entire readership! Bravo!

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  • *age not name obvs

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  • Oh, I read this by mistake, I was looking for Pete Deveson. Love his blog.

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  • Writing a sulky, passive aggressive article isn't the way to get 5 stars.

    But we should definitely lie and be all perky and pretend that none of us are stressed and burning out. Because we will definitely get somewhere if we don't say what we are thinking and just blindly adore the government, RCGP, HEE, CCG, LMC or any other acronym.

    Attacking the photo someone has on their blog? For goodness sake!

    For clarity: Female GP, under 40, doesn't work full time, is pretty damn feminist and thinks that resorting to "ugh, it's because they're male that they get more stars" is lazy. But yes, I will write under a pseudonym thanks, for reasons that entirely different to not standing by my comments, entirely personal and none of anyone's business.

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  • Would you like salt and more vinegar with that chip on your shoulder?

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  • What a strange thing to write and then for pulse to publish.

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  • Don't worry we are big enough to take a bit of tongue-in-cheek ribbing

  • mmmh, I thought I had chips on my shoulders..... perhaps its just the grumpy old men/ women see through the constant 'reconfiguration of services' and shiny new schemes to see them for what they are, and realise its just politicians - traditional, medical or otherwise trying to make a name for him/herself with hobby projects, we've seen it all before and we're fed up with the 'superficial polish' when we know its the hard / unglamorous work at the coalface that needs to be done, and that the resources aren't there to do it. We don't care about new models of working because invariably they're not properly resourced, over promise, under-deliver and therefore ultimately very rarely make meaningful change, therefore we don't want to waste time (That could be better spent elsewhere) trying to learn new admin/forms/pathways/ IT systems, etc to simply end up back at square one again because, guess-what Sherlock?, theres a resource issue. The grumpy olds have a wealth of knowledge and experience that the politicians can't fool, and we're just fed up with their BS, management speak, sound bites and arrogance. A spade is a spade, it is what it is, and we simply like those who call it out for what it is, preferably served with a slice of sarcasm and twist of humour. Its how I like my articles.... real and gritty, not a Macdonalds Happy meal with some grinning clown on the box trying to tell me its all good. I look forward to reading your articles in 20 yrs if you're still a GP at that stage...... will they be covered in Disney Sauce or dripping with the blood of visceral wit and humour? Time for a big dose of Copperfield...... How I love wallowing in the echo-chamber

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