This site is intended for health professionals only

Null points

Pulse's surreal GP blogger 'Through the K hole' tackles the latest big idea for transforming general practice.

It was a tough crowd and all evening long they had been difficult to entertain.

He was reminded by a sinister voice that it was his job to impress and someone roughly shoved him from behind onto the stage.

The lights snapped on and beamed into the theatrical space. He looked small and lost and the lamps blinded him with their heat and light. He was wearing an oversized tail coat and bow tie, droopy black trousers held up with braces and a hat with a hole punched through the top. His face was painted with a white mask, red nose and comically sad smile.

He introduced himself into an old fashioned silver microphone and began his well rehearsed act.

He took out a long thin balloon, stretched it out and inflated it, with a few quick twists it became an appendix and then a hip joint and with a couple of skilful manipulations, made for extra effect behind his back, it became a heart. He set it adrift where it floated above the crowd into the expanse of the metal rafters, it grew in size and throbbed before disappearing out of sight.

Sensing that the audience was becoming restless he tried to remember his training and elicit their concerns and meet their expectations.

His assistant came out with a tray of repeat prescription requests and with a simple flick of his wand the whole lot disappeared in a flurry of dove feathers.

He took off his hat and pulled out a clever diagnosis and for the grand finale a sickly looking patient in hospital greens was wheeled out on a cot bed.

The lights dimmed and tension was built with a simple drum roll. Using his actor's skills to heighten the drama he circled the bed, rubbed the pads of the defib together and then quick as a flash pounced on her chest and shocked her.

The lights in the theatre flickered, there was a loud bang and a gasp from the crowd as a great cloud of acrid smoke issued from the stage. After a few seconds the patient rose. Her face was painted in colourful makeup. She was smiling and wearing a raunchy dress covered in gold sequins, and as she strutted to the lively tempo of the in-house band she looked like a proud peacock. The clown and his beaming assistant smiled broadly and bowed to the crowd.

There was silence, save for a slow-echoing hand clap somewhere at the back of the room and the sound of the cleaner whistling tunelessly whilst he swept the floor.

The judges used a balanced scorecard scheme to rate the GP. They each held up a red card, which meant he had failed to meet their targets, he had failed to entertain.

A long, government-issue hook came from stage left and pulled him off.

Through the K hole - credit HaPe Gera, Flickr Through the K hole - credit HaPe Gera, Flickr