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Two bits of good news about revalidation

Wondering how they’re going to fulfil the GMC’s recent guidance requiring feedback from 15 doctors for revalidation purposes? Here’s two bits of good news.

First, the solution to the problem of none of us actually knowing 15 colleagues who could provide valid feedback is just a mouse-click away: social networking. We could simply hijack established platforms like Friends Reunited to generate the requisite number of ‘thumbs up’ signs from old acquaintances – the only disadvantage being that, if we innocently request feedback from someone who has secretly harboured a long term grudge, we could inadvertently be creating ‘Two Facedbook’. 

Alternatively, we could just invent a new site – ‘’ – in which we form clusters of 16 random doctors to say nice things about each other. It’s cheating, yes, and it’s making a mockery, yes, but we have a proud tradition of this when faced with overwhelming nonsense.

But we needn’t worry, anyway, because of the second bit of good news: it’s not going to happen. ‘BMA warns revalidation faces fresh delay’, says Pulse, in an early contender for least surprising headline of the year.

It’s taken 13 years to get to this point. In 13 years, you can build Big Ben, map the first genome, paint the entire White House white and develop the technology to slice bread for the first time, dontcha know. But you can’t sort out revalidation. Why? Because, unlike Big Ben, mapping genomes and painting buildings, it’s a dumb idea that isn’t needed or wanted. And it most certainly isn’t the best thing sliced bread.

Dr Tony Copperfield is a GP in Essex