Sunday, 11 September 2011

Oh no, Doc Martin's back

I read in the Radio Times that Doc Martin is back on our screens next week. The all knowing, medical encyclopaedia who is now a GP in coastal Cornwall, has somewhat fallen from the heights of being an  'eminent' surgeon in London (pity those surgeons in London who are not eminent).

It's hopelessly inaccurate although quite fun to watch. General surgeons are certainly knowledgeable in their chosen field, but are completely out of their depth when dealing with general medical problems.  Having said that,  GPs are frequently criticised for not knowing enough about various conditions.

I noticed on the Migraine Action website their concern that doctors have so little training in migraine. In fact their comment was misleading. To speak of how much time is spent as an undergraduate learning about certain illnesses is quite irrelevant to a qualified doctor's subsequent management of that same condition. In training to be a GP it is at least 2 years after qualifying before one even begins to make management decisions, and even then the decisions are closely monitored by senior collegeues for a further 3 years.

I meet a fair number of GPs each year in my role as an appraiser and the vast majority are conscientious and give considerable time to ongoing professional development and learning. It's disheartening to read so frequently that GPs need more training in migraine, depression, Crohn's disease, Aspergers, asthma, diabetes, meningitis, prescribing, commissioning, lupus (thanks to House!!)...Of course we need good knowledge of all these and much more, but consultant colleagues are there for the simple historic reason of being consulted! When I'm not sure I want quick access to a specialist colleague. It's a great shame that in so many areas of medicine expert colleagues are becoming harder to reach-not necessarily through fault of their own, but through the ungainly 'choose and book' with the resulting break down of long established relationships between consultant and GP. In some specialities such as psychiatry it's virtually impossible for a GP in my area to get a consultant opinion.

I must find out where Doc Martin trained.

Post a Comment

The Long Walk

It's always a bit chancy to give someone a book. A little like recommending a restaurant. Will others like it? Will the service be as go...