Doctors, one to nine

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: (Published 28 October 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:1171
  1. Colin Douglas, general practitioner
  1. Edinburgh

    I do not claim to know much about general practice, but there occurred to me the other day in asupermarket a simple idea which could, quickly and cheaply, transform the efficiency of primary care by addressing the central issue of informed consumer choice.

    The present system is wasteful because patients who have a general idea what is wrong with themand what they might need are compelled to spend time waiting for and eventually seeing a doctor whose approach and style might be quite inappropriate to what is required on that particular occasion.

    A couple of examples will suffice. A lonely widow with vague headaches coinciding with the anniversary of her bereavement should not encounter anyone who is in the habit of reaching for the …

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