Posted by: Witch Doctor | May 6, 2009

The Pernicious Portfolio


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Dr Crippen today publishes a letter from Dr Joanne, a newly qualified doctor in a London teaching hospital.

If you are a patient, you need to read it.

If you are a consultant, you need to read it.

It illustrates how pernicious a doctor’s portfolio can become – how the NHS is attempting to make doctors of all grades, ice cakes using pretty regional meetings, poster presentations, publications, audits, appraisals, gathering CPD points, 360 degree feedback, and soon – revalidation. All written “evidence” of being seen to be “doing the right thing.”

It is called “playing the game”

It’s OK if the cake underneath is made of soggy cardboard.

Joanne had spent a lot of time baking a delicious cake but it was spat out by her consultant because she didn’t have time to ice it.

This consultant was also “playing the game.”



Now, The Witch Doctor has a consultant colleague who is of the opinion that consultants only become consultants if they “play the game.”

Up to a point, The Witch Doctor agrees, but is of the opinion that many consultants do not want to “play the game”

Why then do they continue to do so, once they have the security of a consultant post?

Why are they complicit with much of the craziness that is going on within the NHS just now?

Why cannot they just say: “No. I’m not doing that, because it’s daft and I have patients to look after properly”

Or if they are not up to the direct approach say: “Do you want to pay me to go through your pointless unproven time-consuming hoops, or do you want me to look after my patients properly? Which do you want me to do? I can’t do both!”

Either way will work. Try them.

I have.

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