Wednesday, 11 November 2015

View from the other end...

It was an ordinary appointment in an ordinary surgery in the North of Scotland.  I was seeing Janet (predictably, not her real name) and her mum and they set me thinking...They’re part of an extended family of just six who've seen me through my working lifetime since they cover five generations and a quarter century of my own Practice here.  It’s an amazing privilege to be involved in their lives and loves (not literally!), their aspirations and fears and ultimately one of their passing. If the involvement itself wasn't enough, there’s been a plethora of medical interest and curiosities intertwining with their complexity. Out of this six, I've been involved with a multitude of conditions. And that’s before considering how life events such as redundancy, emigration and planning disputes have affected their respective health. Finally, into the mix, I’d need to add their interests such as, photography, dancing and dubious football alliances.

This is the joy of continuity across families and generations and only General Practice can offer it. For me, it’s a genuine privilege and has sustained me through QOF and more NHS restructuring than anyone should have to endure in a working lifetime.  Patients value it, we value it and we should be spreading the word among our own- this is why General Practice is different, this is why it’s interesting- even after 30 years!

Alex Thain

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