Holistic GPs under scrutiny from the GMC

Please watch the attached clip. Its regarding one of the many GPs under severe scrutiny from the GMC who practice outside what they consider to be “normal” boundaries. These GPs are being hauled up and questioned about their practices and many of these will not continue to work under the GMC. I thought the role of a GP was to heal, and keep people alive for as long as possible.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/8651442.stm

Holistic GPs work in a slightly different way than conventional GPs. What you get is someone who can prescribe medications if you need them (which is vital) but are also looking at the causes for disease. This particular woman had heart disease and was given magnesium, a known vital nutrient for the heart and B12, and a change of diet.This is exactly what I would have done.

These are the doctors I want to see. I want someone to take their time to really check me over and this might mean getting off their chairs and actually taking the time to see me like GP’s used to. Is it any wonder that more and more people are looking for GPs like this? Thirty years ago, the role of the GP was completely different. If you were ill, you had their home number and you got them out of bed in the middle of the night. Often ours would come in his pyjama top over jeans. We felt cared for and he was an important part of our lives (I’ve written before about our beloved family GP). Those days are sadly gone and as much of medicine now is about targets and money, more and more GPs are becoming prescription writers whilst more and more patients want to understand why they are ill. These fantastic holistic GPs are now being sidelined as alternative and if removed from the GMC cannot prescribe drugs which I think is a scandal.

I’m not against GPs at all so please don’t read this as such, but I do feel passionately that people are listened to and not vilified if they want to try a dietary approach to bringing down their cholesterol rather than swallowing a statin. People are allowed choice. So many of my patients are writing letters to their GPs saying how disappointed they are at the way they are being treated if they take responsibility for their own health – surely this is a good thing? People should be praised for this. You cannot run a health service on take a pill, stop questioning me and live with it. It doesn’t matter whether the latest pharmaceutical drug works or a glass of beetroot juice, as long as all doctors and practitioners are highly qualified where is the harm?

For your information this is one of the modern versions of the Hippocratic Oath

I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:

I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.

I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.

I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.

I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.

I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.

I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.

If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.

The original oath is discussed here.

Please let me know your thoughts on this and what you would like from your GP.

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