Intended for healthcare professionals

Fillers A memorable patient

Heartbroken, not heartsink

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 13 April 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:894
  1. Ruth Booker, retired general practitioner (
  1. Twickenham

    From the start our relationship was an uneasy one. As a young GP, I struggled to cope with this prickly, querulous woman who treated me with an air of irritated disapproval and deep dissatisfaction. Nothing pleased her, and whatever I did was wrong. Despite my best efforts, little changed as time passed, and the sight of her name on my appointment list became a heartsink moment. However, we battled on together—I wary and cautious, she imperious and demanding, both equally unsatisfied.

    It was perhaps 10 years later that my partners and I were trying to improve the quality …

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