Posted by: Tony Copperfield20 May 2013
Talk about snatching victory from the jaws of defeat: why did I finish my Saturday morning extended hours stint with a spring in my step, aside from the fact that it was time to go home and lower myself mouth-first into a vat of Sauvignon Blanc? Particularly when that victory had been achieved despite the fact that our health centre had suffered a power cut, rendering my computer useless, the patient records inaccessible and my consulting room a black, unilluminable hole of despair?
Well, apparently, the final punter went out singing my praises – and I may be a burnt out old cynic, but it still warms my cockles when someone mentions, in passing, to reception, ‘Best doctor I’ve ever seen’ rather than the more familiar, ‘That doctor was a complete t**t and that consultation was a total waste of f****ng time, the doctors here are all s**t and you can all go and f**k your selves you f****ng bunch of w*****s, I’m f****ng well off to f****ng casualty,’ which is the standard response around here when we don’t prescribe chloramphenicol eye ointment for conjunctivitis.
Naturally, I enquired whether he’d explained why I was, on the Essex scale of one to diamond geezer, veering towards the latter. And it was all about eye contact, apparently. It was a pleasure, he’d said, to meet a doctor who seemed genuinely interested in his case and treated him as a human rather than a machine. A doctor, in short – and this seemed to be the key point – who looked him in the eye rather than stared at his computer.
Ah. But then there’s not much point staring at a computer in a power cut, is there? And when the room’s pitch black, I’m bound to stare at the patient, aren’t I, if only to locate him? I feel like I should tell him. To write a review on NHS Choices, that is. Well, it would balance the f****ng comments of chloramphenicol lady.