Friday, November 10, 2006

A day in PHC

Today I worked for money for a living at the PHC (Primary Health Centre) doing General Practice. There are two things of note (well, maybe more than 2, but 2 is all I'm going to mention now) about this. One is how I've been trained in General Practice in inner city UK, and still what I learnt is applicable here far far away from anywhere, and still what I do here feels familiar. (I am acutely aware, though, that I don't know enough about Torres Straight Islander culture and how this influences health - I'm learning from my patients - "Do you speak creole?" one asked me today - "No. Do you speak any Islander languages?" "No".) There is a need for generalists, and if ever you find anyone speaking about being "just a GP" have a wry giggle and point out the error of their ways - in partiular all the good evidence that good quality primary health is essential for a functioning health service.
My second eye opener, though, is having to hand write all my medical notes, my request forms and my prescriptions. It has slowed me down tremendously, which has the knock on effect of making my handwriting worse. (If you're wondering, they do handwriting classes at medical school, to make it look more and more unreadable. It's just before the class on how to swear a hippocratic oath.)

I've been teaching the more junior doctors today on Chronic Disease Management (Wentwest readers would recognise the session!) and part of the message is how much easier computers can make chronic disease management (if used properly by all the team...) while I'm busy dusting off my quill and ink bottle.

1 comment:

KateGladstone said...

As you return to handwriting, may I suggest this web-page for handwriting improvement information and resources?

I live in the USA, but if you e-mail me ( I can refer you to my Australian colleagues.

Kate Gladstone — the Handwriting Repairwoman [tm]