Time to bring out the nipple tassels?

I left partnership last year to try and start up a charitable company, but it folded and I decided to look for partnership again. Looking for a job is pretty strange at my age. Not that I consider myself old, you understand, the bloom of early youth having barely left my rosy cheeks (okay, I might have washed it off), but I have reached the stage when the young GPs I see when I'm examining for MRCGP are the same age as my eldest daughter (I was a teenager when I had her, obviously).

It's rather a shame, because I enjoyed partnership, to discover that it is no longer on offer in this area, and my disapproval of the modern tendency to salary GPs and expect them to work as partners prevents me contemplating such a move. Neither do I want to join partners but work less hard — 'we all pull together' is my motto. So, hoist by my own petard, I find myself contemplating early retirement. Perhaps the Novel Under Construction will be my salvation, leaving me with no need to earn and just an option on a few locum sessions a month in practices that are nice to me. Or perhaps I should do something else… But what are you good for if you've been a GP?

I analyse my strong points objectively: people skills which often involve people without underwear; a bit of IT; a bit of practice management; a bit of financial acumen; and a great ability not to get stressed under fire. And never, ever being lost for words and an awful lot of knowledge about sickness without the resources to deal with most of it. What sort of career is that most suited to?

My son has the answer. Looking over my shoulder her says 'Hmm' several times in a teenage kind of way. Then he says: 'Have you ever thought of being a hooker running a strip club in a hospital in a war zone?'

My old Tutor in Cambridge would have said it was no more than he expected. Nipple tassels, anyone?

Dr Selby is a GP in Suffolk. You can write to her at GPcolumnists@haymarket.com

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