Posts tagged with Rallying the Troops

Captain Mainwaring’s Casualty

Late April 2016. As hospital consultants and staff doctors across England prepare for the first ever full walk out by junior doctors, similar preparations take place at Walmington-on-Sea…

Scene: The local District General Hospital Casualty Department. Mainwaring and his platoon stand facing each other. All are wearing baggy theatre greens with stethoscopes draped in the modern fashion round their necks, except Wilson who is wearing a Prince of Wales check suit, with a large neurologist’s hat-pin in his lapel. Frazer has on an ENT surgeon’s head mirror, flipped to the up position, and the light reflects off it like a heliograph as he darts glances here and there. Mainwaring has a vintage WWII flare pistol in a holster on a belt, strictly for emergency use only.

MAINWARING: Hurry up and get changed, Wilson.

Medical Truants

Dr No has Boots down as an otorhinolaryngologist - an ear nose & throat surgeon, but then the Greek always sounds better in the plush of private practice. These are the chaps who mount CDs on their foreheads, the better to peer into your orifices. Quite why the tonsil baggers need to mount a CD on their forehead to see what they are doing baffles Dr No. Gynaecologists seem to manage very well, without resorting to shining Abba’s Greatest Hits up the old hoo ha.

One might suppose all that peering through CDs might narrow both mind and vision, but Boots has clearly escaped a constricting fate. He has cast his surgical presence wide on the Borsetshire stage; and few indeed are the pies that have escaped the Boots finger. He is very bright, reads widely, and has the natural gift of synthesis to Boot. And so it is that when we come to survey his blog, we find well crafted posts, always finely written, invariably most interesting.

Ten Top Tips for RCGP Presidential Candidates

The ballot for the next president of the Royal College of General Practitioners will soon be upon us. The field is strong, the going expected to be good, and in the interests of a spirited but fair race, Dr No offers - or perhaps that should be would like to share with you - his Ten Top Tips for RCGP Presidential Candidates.

1. Establish, first and foremost, that you care. You must make it clear that you care so much it hurts. Never miss an opportunity: books, blogs, twitter and media appearances are all ideal settings in which to show how much you care.

The Maltese Falcon

Dr No is fed up with the Health and Social Care Bill, and the interminable waffle that surrounds it. To him, it is clearly the death warrant to the National Health Service. Once enacted, it will allow any willing cowboy – and that includes the unscrupulous doctors amongst us - to ride into town, and hawk their wares. Britain’s greatest post-war achievement, healthcare on need not ability to pay, will be dynamited, and Wild West law will prevail. Many, far too many, will perish.

Faced with this threat, what do we have? Walls of argument as penetrable as fog. Touching faith in democratic and parliamentary process. But as Dr No wades through Hansard, he finds no cause for celebration. The worthy but windy briefings swirl away as an autumn mist. The Noble Lords, when not bemoaning the declining standard of Westminster biscuits, cast their breath on the looking glass of truth, and see not the angled knife at our health service’s throat, but instead their own wondrous learning, so wonderful to behold.

Remember Numbers!

Dr No has received many queries from baffled GPs stumped by how to vote in the RCGP President and Council elections. Problems have ranged from not knowing how to open the voting papers envelope, through not having the foggiest notion about how the single tranfserable vote works, to logging accidentally onto Facebook and sharing one’s voting preferences there, rather than on the secure voting website. Dr No understands voting can be difficult and stressful, and so he takes this opportunity to share with you this walk through on how to vote safely and effectively.

1. First, make sure you are sitting comfortably at a table or desk, with the unopened voting papers envelope placed in front of you. It is advisable to wear loose-fitting clothing, in case the excitement of participating in the election proves too much for you.

Yes We Can

The wonderfully uplifting and generally obstetrically sound BBC series Call the Midwife has got Dr No worried. Playing catch up on the current series, he worries about the way the plots are getting more extreme, as if the writers, lacking the discipline of Jennifer Worth’s now expended memoirs, have decided to go commando. We’ve already had outbreaks of diphtheria, syphilis and rats: will bubonic plague be next? Or will it be World War Three? Dr Turner is burning out and booze has crept up on Trixie: when will the sponge-o-cidal Sister Monica Joan’s magic mushroom habit be exposed? Is unflappable Sister Julienne unflappable because she smokes cheroots behind the bicycle shed? Having put her back in a nurse’s uniform, will Dr Turner’s wife Shelagh now be transformed, Dennis Potter style, into a Singing Receptionist, complete with leather crop and corset? Will Dr Turner's stress trigger a bout of crippling psoriasis? Such are the possible alarming developments on which Dr No frets.

Happenstance Coincidence and Enemy Action

Readers who frequent the pages of the UK medical blogosphere cannot fail to have noticed the decline in blogging activity. Almost a year ago, Dr Rant posted ‘Farewell Lord Darzi’ which was a farewell post in more ways than one. Earlier this year, the sun set spectacularly on Dr Crippen, and more recently The Jobbing Doctor turned off his steady flow of posts in mid-stream. Many of those who are still posting are doing so at reduced frequency. Only L'Oréal Pal continues to post regularly, presumably because she thinks she’s worth it.

The Gathering Storm

Sir— We have, over these past few months, seen a sharp rise in hostile activity against our profession. The government, and its evil henchmen, have been waging war against us on many fronts. They have sown malicious stories in the press, and have imposed many vexatious rules upon our work.

The Lights Are Going Out

Faced with the GMC’s latest antics, Dr No was tempted to do an RDJ (rapid demolition job) on some of its sillier notions, such as ‘emotional resilience training’ for doctors to prepare them for fitness to practice investigations (‘General Turkey Council: toughness training for turkeys facing Christmas process’), but instead he offers another variation on a favourite line of his, borrowing from great orators of the past. Three quarters of a century ago, Britain stood against the Nazi menace; today the medical profession stands against the regulatory menace. What would Mr Churchill have said had he been the leader we so clearly lack today as our profession prepares to face the greatest menace in its long illustrious history?

A Year and a Day

Today is St Valentine’s day. It is also, by coincidence, the first anniversary of Dr No’s first post – a frivolous piece that borrowed from the wonderful Peter Cook, posted in the main to verify the site was live. A summer of distractions followed, and it was only in August that Dr No went public, with The Peter Squared Principle. Other bloggers were kind enough to link to Bad Medicine, even if the wise and sage Witch Doctor noticed the erratic posting history, and asked very reasonably ‘is he only going to be a blogger on heydays and holidays’?

Well, six months on the answer is plain for all to see. Dr No now posts regularly. And, as befits an anniversary, he finds himself reflecting on the past, and looking into the future. Whichever way he looks, he sees three dominating themes that have and will continue to exercise him. They are the Big Themes, and all carry a threat of very very Bad Medicine.

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