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The least surprising exit



So this is a bit weird. I join you in the middle – or, hopefully, near the end – of one of those dreams. You know, the sort where you’re looking forward to waking up, because all sorts of strange and unpleasant and stressful things are happening. A bit like Monday morning surgery.

No, I haven’t started believing in elves

Anyway, the dream story so far. First, Britain has voted to leave the EU. I know. Bear with me. This is my subconscious recharging, remember? I have no control over what it conjures up. Besides, it gets weirder. Next, England has been knocked out of the Euros. By, like, Iceland. Seriously. That’s a country where 54% of the population believe in elves and 0% of the population (even the elves) believed they could beat England.

And, finally, my dream went somewhere even more bizarre. Specifically, to a Pulse survey which revealed that over half of GP partners are willing to go salaried if offered the right deal. OK, so the key phrase there is, ‘offered the right deal’. Because, if that deal involves £200k p.a., all-you-can-eat Hobnobs and a night out with Rachel Riley, then it’s mystifying why only 51% said ‘yes’.  Nonetheless. That’s a real attitude shift.

But, compared to Brexit and Engxit, partnexit is maybe the least surprising. Young GPs see knackered, over-stretched and angst-ridden partners and unsurprisingly prefer to sign on the dotted salaried line. And, being one of those knackered, over-stretched and angst-ridden partners – rendered so by financial uncertainty, micromanagement, constant change and terrifying liabilities – I’ve reached the point where I’d seriously consider a pay cut if there was a similar cut in my stress levels. Even if they took Rachel Riley out of the deal.

No, I haven’t started believing in elves. I’m still rational. I realise that going salaried might feel like selling my soul – but general practice is already a soulless existence, so what’s the difference?

But leaving Europe. And losing to Iceland. Ha! Hilarious. Not sure why I can’t emerge from this dream, though. What I’ll do is chuck myself off a tall building. Nasty falling feeling, but you always wake up before you hit the ground. Don’t you?

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