This site is intended for health professionals only

My one New Year’s resolution

Yes, like the rest of you, I loathe and detest New Year’s resolutions. But I do have just the one I’m going to stick with, and that’s being decisive. Yes sirreee, say goodbye to vacillation misery, I’m grasping bulls by horns and I’m banning the word ‘ummmmm’.

And the first decision I’ve made is to stop pretending that revalidation isn’t happening. So I’ve sorted out a GMC Online account and I’ve finally checked out the date when I’m going to be rendered valid. And it’s… wait for it… 27/11/15. Yesssss! Result!!!! That’s nearly three years away! Which means I can continue to ignore it, only now more decisively.

Hang on a sec, though. Didn’t I read somewhere that all the important GPs are being revalidated first? All the big beasts? The movers and shakers? What does that say about me? Being revalidated in late November 2015 could conceivably mean that I’m one of the last GPs to be rubber-stamped. Maybe the very last. That means I’m irrelevant. I’m not a big beast, I’m an amoeba. Mover/shaker? More like inertia/beta blocker. How dare they? This is an insult.

Having said that, a lot can happen in nearly three years. Contracts can change, governments can fall, ridiculous regulatory mechanisms can be binned. So my slowly evaporating belief that revalidation might never happen could yet be proved correct. In which case, my distant revalidation date is fantastic news.

On the other hand, it’s probably better to be revalidated early. Responsible officers are bound to be more lenient at first, as they’re ironing out wrinkles in the system. They’ll only start getting the genital electrodes out later, to show that revalidation has real teeth when people are starting to grumble otherwise.

But… but…

And so it goes on. I’m quite possibly at the end of the revalidation queue and I simply can’t decide whether I’m delighted or despairing. One thing’s for sure, though. My New Year’s resolution’s buggered.

Dr Tony Copperfield is a GP in Essex. You can email him at and follow him on Twitter @DocCopperfield