Following the rule of five could save your sanity

We GPs are under constant scrutiny and criticism while trying to do a difficult job. Poor morale, doctor bashing and the private sector are daily worries.

It is time to stop being a superhero. The secret of staying sane is to follow the rule of five:

  • Give yourself a break of five minutes after seeing five patients.
  • Laugh for five minutes five times a week. Do it at work and at home.
  • Eat dark chocolates five times a week. Keep a box in your room.
  • Work only five days a week.
  • Be nice to your partner five times a week.
  • Drink red wine five times a week.
  • Do five good things a week - eat healthily and exercise five times a week; drink five glasses of water five times a week; go shopping five times a week; and read five good journals five times a week.
  • Say 'no' to five things daily and see how good you feel. Try refusing extra patients, visits, DSS letters and housing letters.
  • Arrive in your surgery five minutes early.
  • Just for five minutes, forget about access, and go home early five days in a week.

Who says you can't work for another five years in general practice?

Dr Anita Sharma, Oldham, Lancashire.

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