I wanted to call this post ‘why GP’s need to be on top of their shit’, but ended up not doing that.
Every kind of doctor has to be on top of things. The first rule of Fight Club may be not to talk about Fight Club, but the first rule of medicine is to avoid causing harm to your patient. This is super important in surgery, because when things go wrong in the operating room they do so rapidly and spectacularly. Malpractice suits are expensive.
But this post is about why General Practitioners need to be on top of things.
For many patients, their GP is their first point of contact with the healthcare system. Patients bond with their GP’s over many years and they trust them implicitly. This GP splinted their broken arm, took their tonsils out and delivered their babies. If the GP tells a patient that while her breast cancer is very small, it is probably better to have a RADICAL mastectomy or that she is too old or too ill to have a general anaesthetic, the patient will treat this as gospel. Patients are often unwilling to consider the other options offered by specialists, because they have already had their minds made up by the (well intentioned) advice given by their GP.
So in a nutshell- being a GP is a position that comes with great responsibility. Use it wisely.
Damn straight, Spidey.