This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

Why can't negotiators see the wood for the trees?

If you were driving along the M5 from where I live towards London and you wanted to know how fast you were going, you could count the number of trees you pass on the way.

With a knowledge of the local tree density at various points along the route, you could make a fair guess at your speed.

You would have to divide the number of trees counted per hour by the tree density and multiply by the visibility in miles, but that should not be impossible with a handy speed calculator spreadsheet and a brain the size of a small planet.

You would also have to allow for missing small trees and there would be some discussion over what is a tree and what is a bush.

Further there would be some trees that should be counted but are hidden from view by a hill. In short, it is a tricky sum to do.

Of course if you really were driving along the M5 and your licence depended on not getting a speeding ticket you might be inclined to take the common sense approach and look at the speedometer.

Why the extended metaphor? You want your income to be related to your workload?

Then demand to be paid for what you do, and not by the number on your list of imaginary nine- to 14-year-old males taking their medicines in an area of low ischaemic heart disease with a rurality fudge factor of.....

Dr David Maconochie



Rate this article 

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

Have your say