Who cares for those who care?BMJ 1994; 309 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.309.6956.747 (Published 17 September 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:747
- P Thomas
Doctor AB had worked as a general practitioner in a small market town in Wales for 35 years. His family had lived in the area for generations before and his father held a prominent position in the local community. The only time he had moved away was to go to medical school in England, but he returned to his roots, went into practice, married, and brought up his family. He was a well liked man with a good sense of humour. His patients thought the world of him. He was conscientious and hard working and devoted himself to the health and wellbeing of the community he served. He had always worked to the highest of personal and professional standards. He was not an ambitious man, not a seeker of influence or power, but simply enjoyed doing what he was extremely good at - being a country general practitioner.
Then, over the years, his work gradually changed. The town grew and his list increased. Every summer an influx of holiday makers added to his workload. That was in the 1960s and 1970s. Ten years ago something else happened. Changes in the organisation and management of the health service meant that he and his partners had to face increasing amounts of paperwork. The situation became particularly acute at the start of the 1990s when the partners considered that they should become a fundholding practice. …