Liam Farrell: A tale of doc and Superdoc

'Always remember,' said my old Professor, 'the examination begins from the end of the bed.' Well, I've got news for you, you old goat, it starts long before that; the neighbourhood is the first clue.

If a burnt-out car is blazing merrily in the middle of the street and you are approached at the lights by a crack whore looking for a date (my passion for museum and art galleries is well known and it is so much nicer when you can share these things with someone you love), the discerning eye may consider these important clues and a shot-gun injury already a likely diagnosis.

But this call was different, the clues were hard to read. Fortunately my clinical instincts are ever alert. The front door smelt of gingerbread, and following this thread I then noted the many multi-coloured mushrooms in the garden, all with their own tiny little doors and windows, which in turn made sense of the singing barnyard animals and the beavers wearing combat trousers and carrying AK47s.

I tried the doorknob, which was made of chocolate and wouldn't turn properly. 'Even fairyland must have it's laws,' said GK Chesterton, to which he might have added, 'and it ain't immune to shoddy workmanship either,' I thought. I pushed on through, the gingerbread door crumbling a bit, my feet sticking unpleasantly to the marshmallow carpet.

I was expecting something traditional, a wizened old crone, a talking rabbit, the Creature From The Black Lagoon, Peter Mandelson; instead I was greeted by a small nondescript man wearing what looked like a cheap and trashy dress in a colour scheme of purple and gold (so garish that the pixies began to retch), but was, I realised with a sinking heart, an academic gown.

'I am an uber-GP,' he announced, twirling proudly (academic GPs just love purple, they think they look gorgeous), his dress spinning in the air and shedding tinsel over the nauseated pixies, 'one of the new breed of uber-GPs to lead primary care and safeguard the future of personal doctoring, called for by a former chairman of the RCGP.'

I closed my eyes, but it was too late, oh god, oh god, oh god, the image to be forever abraded on my eyeballs, yes, he was wearing bright blue tights, and over them, shocking red underpants. 'Now,' I said, 'that's what I call REALLY unbelievable.'


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Renewable energy

GP practices can be 'more ambitious' on tackling climate change

GP practices can be more ambitious in taking steps to tackle climate change than...

GP surgery sign

Risks of being a partner have outstripped benefits, GPs told

The risks of being a partner have become greater that the benefits, the RCGP conference...

Image of Dr Farzana Hussain

GPs urged to use their voices to improve the lives of patients in deprived areas

The can-do attitude and independence of GPs offers a unique opportunity to help reverse...

Professor Sir Michael Marmot

Unequal impact of COVID-19 'utterly predictable' amid rising inequality, says Marmot

The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on people in the most deprived parts of England...

Consulting room door

NHS on course for shortfall of 11,000 GPs within a decade

One in four GP and practice nurse posts will be vacant within a decade without a...

Dr Iona Heath

Lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic can help GPs tackle health inequalities

GPs can use evidence from the COVID-19 pandemic to put pressure on the government...