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Chris Woods, GP.

He doesn’t look too good,

suit not as snappy.

His tie’s a bit frayed.

He doesn’t look happy.

Domestic difficulties,

staff shortages, cuts?

In the driving seat no longer.

Driven nuts.

He doesn’t look too hot.

Has he been up all night?

I’ll be supportive –

Doc. Are you all right?


This poem was written some years ago now and was published in my second poetry collection, Dangerous Driving. It had been a particularly difficult day at work and the profession was once again in the middle of problems with underfunding and recruitment difficulties. The day to day running of GP Practices was becoming increasingly centralised with subsequent loss of control. The NHS again felt like a political football being constantly passed back and forth. I wondered what my patient would feel like if we swapped places just for a short time? How might I come across? I have never been ‘burnt out’ but the stresses and strains of everyday General Practice are considerable.

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