Personal Views Personal views

Time is such a precious thing

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.319.7206.391 (Published 07 August 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:391
  1. Jeremy Vevers, general practitioner
  1. Surrey

    Each week I try and approach Wednesdays with enthusiasm. After all they come after Tuesdays, my day off, when there is space for gardening, mediocre golf, dog walking, or yet again causing the home computer to crash; my time for messing around. There is the familiar mountain of paper on my desk, laboratory results and hospital letters, written requests for this and that, a mosaic of reminders, vignettes of personal unfinished dramas lying there waiting.

    How do you cost a saved marriage, a mother's ability to play with her child?

    Perhaps today will be different as the second patient has either not bothered to come or forgotten. Wasting valuable doctor time can seem a bonus on Wednesdays. But by five to nine there are the familiar faces, a sea of raincoats, a clattering of surgery lego, a gathering of walking aids ready to stagger in and moan about the weather of their lives, the ringing phones with requests, the community nurse with a big sheet of paper, the receptionist asking when I want to …

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