Sunday, 24 April 2011

Everybody wants to be a doctor

Bob Bury has written another excellent article in “Hospital Doctor”. In it he touches on something I think we have all noticed over the years, and which he describes perfectly as our nursing colleagues unrequited desire to take up the mantle of the white coat and stethoscope.” He also makes the statement “I can’t help thinking, like the unreconstructed, arrogant, paternalistic monster of a consultant that I undoubtedly am, that it would be a lot better for the NHS, and certainly for patients, if nurses would just get on with the job of nursing.” a statement with which I identify totally.

One of the commenters to the post has said “Bob is retired. That kind of outspokenness and standing up to the nurses is never displayed by consultants in post” He don’t know me vewy well do he.

A retired friend of mine used to give his patients a first class service. If one of his patients phoned his secretary with a problem she would put a note on his desk and he would phone that patient back within 48 hours, and if the problem could not be resolved that way he would see them in his clinic within 2 weeks. Since his retirement he has been replaced. But now if a patient phones with a problem they are told they can have a phone appointment, with a nurse specialist, in six weeks time. What bloody use is that. You may as well ask the cat.

The implication here is that the nurse specialist is more knowledgeable about the subject than the GP who sent in the referral in the deluded hope that his patient would get the attention of a Consultant. If I were the GP I would be bloody insulted. 

But it’s not just nurses who want to play at being doctors. Bloody Pharmacists!  If I go into a pharmacist’s shop to buy some Paracetamol I get asked the third degree from some numptie, a mini consultation, with no privacy, from a fucking shopkeeper. And at work I am periodically told by one of these jumped up pedlars of quack remedies that I can’t prescribe drug X because it is not in the Trust fomulary, or not licensed for that indication. Let’s get this straight. As a fully registered medical practitioner I can prescribe what the hell I like, for whatever I deem fit, and this principal has been confirmed by the highest court in the land. And all I expect of the pharmacist is that he takes it off the shelf and gives it to the patient. To quote a previous president of the British Pharmaceutical Society “The interests of patients are best served when doctors prescribe, and pharmacists dispense”
And bloody physiotherapists. Every time I see one of these posing idiots poncing along the corridor with a stethoscope around his/her neck I want to strangle him with it. The meaningless jargon they come out with is one step removed from quackery and I am not alone I know in wondering what exactly they do that is of any use. Whenever I see what I think is a physio doing something useful it turns out to be an Occupational Therapist.

And as for “I’m an independent professional, don't tell me my job” midwives, I’m not even going to go there.


  1. Jeez.

    You're a bundle of fun today.

    Maybe all the other health care professionals are ganging up on you? Or is that just your paranoia talking?

    Or maybe they've had their fill of the so called clinical freedom accorded medical practitioners that in reality equates to poor practice and even poorer treatment?

    In reality you can prescribe what you like - for your private patients. Publicly funded treatments tends to have a higher bar than just the medical practitioners biased judgement these days.

    F'ing Shopkeeper
    Some Numptie.

  2. See

  3. You sound like a first rate tosser

  4. Not a midwife by any chance are you?

  5. the a&e charge nurse25 April 2011 at 09:47

    "Everybody wants to be a doctor" - no that's not quite right - nowadays I think it is more a case of non-medics, especially those with donkeys years of experience, wanting to maximise their knowledge and skills?

    In A&E, for example, some of the the ENPs are increasingly aware of how much junior doctors struggle with minor injuries not least because there is virtually no teaching on it during most standard medical curricula?

    Anything from peri-occular chemical burns to splinters under the nail or delayed presentations of wounds - not to mention a wide range of fractures and the various types of splints that may be used to treat them, etc, etc.

    There is a great deal of stuff that the FY2s are effectively learning on the job (not only in terms of diagnosis but also treatment) while those non-medics with far greater experience could have sorted out certain categories of patients relieving the FY2 of another walk of shame to the consultant's office (to obtain advice for the 3rd time in the last 5 minutes).

    Of course doctors have their learning needs, and I do realise that a junior doctor seeking a senior opinion is par for the course, but to disregard a wealth of experience because of the sort of job demarkation that dockers might be proud of is folly, surely?