Once again, in the bizarre world of general practice, apathy has proved to be a most rewarding and economic virtue.
Of course, I do miss it. I miss the jolly social evenings with the rest of the hail-fellow-well-met chaps, all those group hugs and wild parties — although maybe I’m confusing them with the Free Masons; my memory is kinda hazy... there was a lot of dope going around — I miss the intellectual stimulation, I miss the academic cutting-edge buzz.
I don’t miss the British Journal of General Practice, however, because my partner remains a member, he being too apathetic to cancel his direct debit; is that ironic or what?
Boy, does he love that journal. When it arrives in the surgery we have a wrestling match to see who has first sight of what the Dutch sociologists are barking on about this month. I usually win, because I’m bigger and meaner and consider myself an alpha male — physical intimidation is a much under-rated technique in general practice.
So, I still know what is going on, and the latest whiz from our local ‘faculty’, is a Doctor of the Year competition. The term ‘faculty’ is revealing; not committee, not collective, but faculty, the word implying a university-like gravitas, with visions of dreaming spires and pageantry and academic processions (the old boys just love wearing gowns, you know; can’t you see them posing in front of the mirror, don’t I look good in purple, they are thinking — listen pal, to the rest of us it just looks like you’re wearing a dress). I note that the judges will be ‘representative of RCGP NI, the sponsors, and independent management’; plenty of coalface GPs in there, then.
Am I the only one who considers this demeaning? Some kind of beauty contest? ‘I love children and I want to work for world peace.’ The award for going through this humiliating process consists of, wait for it, a specially engraved crystal trophy, a commemorative certificate and photograph, and a measly £200.
That will certainly help pay for your sister’s new kidney, if not quite enough, perhaps, for the annual membership fee.
- Dr Farrell is a GP from County Armagh.
Email him at GPcolumnists@haymarket.com