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The emperor has no clothes on

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 13 February 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:473
  1. Jonathan Easterbrooke, locum general practitioner.
  1. Dorchester

    Am I the only general practitioner in the country who finds it almost impossible to complete a modern consultation in the short time allocated? Am I the only one who regularly finds that his morning surgery has drifted perilously close to becoming his working lunch or even his afternoon session? And if everyone else does manage it, would someone be so kind as to tell me how. For it seems to me that there is a discrepancy between the sort of consulting we are encouraged to practise and what actually happens. There seems also to be almost a conspiracy of silence between practitioners in pretending that it can be done.

    Now the problem might lie in the fact that I have only recently completed my general practice training. My registrar year acted as a fulcrum between the rigid protocols of hospital practice and the adoption of a new primary care mantle. But it was only a short conversion course …

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