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Smile, it might never happen



I’m having a sudden spasm of positivity. So I thought I’d join the happy-clappy brigade currently trying to buck the trend of doom and gloom within the profession. Come on in, it’s lovely, these smiles aren’t psychotic, honest.

The reason for my elation is that I’ve just had the most perfect start ever to a morning surgery.

Patient 1: suspected polymyalgia treated by me with a trial of steroids last week and attending today for review. She dances in, sings my praises and plants a huge smacker on my cheek. Wonderful. OK, she’s 83 and edentulous, but you take what you can get at my age. And you certainly don’t get that when you stick patients on statins.

Patient 2: ear wax. Vastly under-rated. Think about it. Patient walks in bereft of one of his senses. And you cure him (OK, you nurse does, but such is the primeval pleasure of ejecting tubes of brown sludge from EAMs that sometimes I do it myself). He was deaf and now he can hear. It’s a miracle, just like that scene in Life of Brian where the Messiah’s touch leads a believer to exclaim, ‘I was blind but now I can see!’ Except, unlike in the film, my patient doesn’t then fall down a hole.

Patient 3: conjunctival haemorrhage. Patient comes in believing he’s got anything from Ebola to impending Zombie-dom and leaves completely reassured that his eye and his life are safe after all, and that this is utterly harmless and self-limiting, and that I’m the best doctor ever. In thirty seconds flat. Awesome.

Patient 4: DNA. Perfect. Hence the time to write this blog. It doesn’t get any better than that, does it? Three incredibly happy punters, me running to time and job satisfaction to the max. Take that, recruitment crisis.

Obviously, the rest of my day will be shit.

Dr Tony Copperfield is a jobbing GP in Essex