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Sunday 25 September 2016
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A hiccup over period detail and a cough through surgery

Before l begin my latest blog, l must correct my architectural inaccuracy! My last entry mentioned our converted 1930s premises – but we are, in fact, housed in a converted Victorian building. My practice manager (at least someone reads my ramblings) drew my attention to my historical inaccuracy!

Testing times
I've had a tough time of it of late. A few weeks ago, it was half-term, and unfortunately it wasn't my turn to have the holiday. We operate a rotation system, as many of us partners have schoolage children. It was a little busy!

Then there was a flu-jab backlash, as one of our esteemed national newspapers decided to cast doubt on the efficacy of flu jabs.

Then that dreadful cough I've had for three weeks spread to the larger population. At least this gave credibility to my words as l coughed my way through the explanation that most coughs have a viral cause.

Powerful presentation?
This week, I'm preparing a Powerpoint presentation for the staff, to be premiered at our regular staff meeting. It not only serves as an introduction to new staff, but also as a memory jogger regarding the minor illness clinic run each morning by our nurse practitioner.

It has proved reasonably successful, overseen by one or two of our salaried doctors. My Powerpoint talk is part of a new series of presentations, with themes ranging from minor illness management to how to optimise note summarising.

I wonder if we might wheel this out into a nationwide roadshow? Hmm, perhaps I need more sleep!

Gender politics
Last week, just to put a little more pressure on ourselves (with respect to manpower), we entertained a group of fifth-year medical students. We take them on a regular basis, as part of the final university push for general practice.

Over the last seven years, I've noticed the subtle gender swing in the composition of groups sent to us. Now the majority of students are female. Apparantly the next medical school intake will be 65:35 in favour of females.

I'm not sure what I think of this. It's good for general practice, which generally has a more flexible career pathway? But what's happening to the males?

I have three boys – granted, they are all still of primary school age, but I think I'm going to have to graduate them quickly up the Oxford Reading Tree – no more Biff and Chip, more Watson and Crick and the double-stranded helix!

Until next time ...