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Dr Jenny Naylor: The tale of a specialist generalist

An open door, an open mind

For each face, young and old, I find

A lump, a pain, a cough… a change

I see it all, however strange


A patient comes in to my room

I’ll care for them from womb to tomb

Their lists of problems grow and grow

But ten minutes is all I have, you know


I drive to homes both near and far

With my bag of tools, in my little car

I visit the elderly, sick and the dying

I’ll help if I can and I won’t give up trying


I listen, I write, I dictate and I read

I’m trying to give you what you need

Whilst balancing referrals, resources and money

I’m managing problem’s that just aren’t funny


I’ve examined, injected, prodded and poked

I’m always reminding you not to smoke

I teach, I explain, I even make tea

I treat you as I would my own family


I work evenings and weekends despite what they say

My workload is massive, can’t say the same for my pay

If you need it I’ll get you the right medication

My patients come first, don’t question my dedication


If you’re homeless, take drugs, or ‘ve beaten again

I don’t judge, I won’t budge, I’m here to listen

I signpost to places to help cope with life

I’ll do my best for you, whatever your strife


You are eighty and you have very complex needs

You’ve got problems with your heart, lungs and kidneys

The hospital specialists, on me all rely

To hold things together in the hope you won’t die


If I tell you words that you don’t want to hear

I’ll always try to alleviate your pain and fear

I will talk to your brother, your parents, your aunt

Explain things over when you feel you can’t


It’s tough, and I’ll take whatever’s thrown at me

And if you are sick, I will treat you for free

I’m the fall guy, the follow up, the last hope standing

I’ll help you to get your emergency landing


I have the skills to make the decisions

I’ll sign red forms, jump red tape, I’ve got the vision

I’m a shape changer, morphing in to different roles

I’m a specialist generalist and I’ve got soul


I’ll take extra minutes, despite the queue at my door

It’s not very much, and I know you need more

You see the people out there don’t understand

That you’re not quite ready to let go of my hand


But I’m not super-human, I’ve no x-ray vision

I use patterns and reason to make my decision

I’m educated, skilled, and in high demand

But my numbers are falling, and there’s blood on your hands


The cancer patient waits another day more

They can’t get in to see me at my clinic door

There’re not enough of me to go round

The GP work force is crumbling with barely a sound


Dr Jenny Naylor is a GP in Goole