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The King of Complaints

There’s a spring in my step today. And that’s because I’m happy, an adjective not usually associated with a day in general practice – particularly when you get to my age and have that ‘been there, done that’, mentality.

Nowadays, very little surprises or excites me about my work, and I have come to accept that my attempts to secure immortality by coining ‘Copperfield syndrome’  (the tendency for patient requiring amitriptyline to respond to an explanation of the side effects of dizziness and dry mouth by responding, ‘I get that already’) are unlikely to gain traction.

So all that awaits me is the treadmill grinding to a superannuated halt or a cardiac event intervening.

Until today. Because today, something marvellous happened. Something that marks me out, that in some strange way elevates me. For I, Dr Copperfield, am a record breaker. I’m sure of it.

Today, I received a complaint from a patient. Big deal. Except that it was 100 (one hundred) pages long

To properly convey this, I’m going to have to adopt a syntactical quirk associated with (for those of you old enough to remember) the teleprinter which used to transmit the football results on TV on a Saturday afternoon, when the score was too high to be credible. So here we go.

Today, I received a complaint from a patient. Big deal. Except that it was 100 (one hundred) pages long. That’s right, 100 (one hundred). This isn’t a joke or a cheat. This really happened, literally, in my actual life, today. And no, it wasn’t scrawled in massive green ink or presented in Comic Sans 72 font. It was conventionally typed up on A4. A complaint, 100 (one hundred) pages long.

This is marvellous. I firmly believe my entire 31-year career as a GP has been working towards this point, and I feel honoured and proud. I’d frame and hang it, if only I had the wall space of Tate Modern.

I defy any of you out there to trump this. In fact, I’ve already emailed the editorial team of the Guinness Book of Records and, unofficial though it may be, I believe I can stand before you as the true King of Complaints.

Obviously, I have responded to the patient within the statutory timeframe and asked for more detail.

Dr Tony Copperfield is a GP in Essex. Read more of Copperfield’s blogs at or follow him on Twitter @doccopperfield