The Art of General Practice

Soft skills to survive and thrive

David Bartlett

Price: £14.03 , $21.05, €16.84

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Format: Ebook

Publication date: August 19, 2018

Pages: 136 pages

ISBN: 9781911510277 Related titles:

Other editions available: Paperback


A collection of life experiences, anecdotes and suggestions from an experienced GP and GP trainer focusing on the emotional intelligence required to be a great GP.

The Art of General Practice is a short text written by an experienced GP and GP trainer. It is a book which will help focus the mind of the reader (GPs of all descriptions: young GPs, returners to general practice and even jaded GPs) on what it means to be a GP. Too often general practice focuses on guidelines, ever-changing targets, incentives or the academic side of medicine and the art and craft of being a GP is forgotten.

The book aims to redress the balance; it helps the reader refocus on the emotional intelligence needed to be a great GP. The book consists of a number of short chapters so the busy GP can dip in and out of it as time allows – each chapter helps the reader re-centre on the core skills and techniques needed to be a great GP, and the benefits these skills will bring to both GPs and patients alike.

There is almost no medicine in this book; it is a book of life experiences, anecdotes and suggestions – all aimed to help you survive the increasing pressures of general practice and make your life as a GP more interesting and less stressful.

1. Greeting the patient
2. More greetings
3. Routines
4. One consultation, one problem
5. Don’t say that!
6. Only the lonely
7. I second that emotion
8. Seeing the world through the patient's eyes
9. “Take (extra) care”
10. Second opinions
11. Silence and small talk
12. Shared grief
13. Dying to help
14. It's all a game of chess
15. The return of vinyl
16. The best form of defence
17. The best form of defence, part 2

18. Finding the sweet spot
19. “I try to look after myself so I can look after you”
20. I’m curious to know if you're curious
21. Yes but…..
22. Get off the bus
23. Timing is everything
24. Go off-piste
25. Good connections
26. Tools in the toolbox

Five-star reviews:
A Vade Mecum of General Practice "What parents and schools should ask potential Medical Students to read . Recommended by a GP reader." Amazon reviewer
As a pharmacy professional I loved this book "My own GP is what I would say as "old school", just as I am I hasten to add. Nothing wrong with old school - it is where you put the patient first, irrespective of time taken for a consultation or professional conversation. Where you put patient first above profit, targets and the never ending requirement for appraisals and CPD. In a recent conversation with my GP I mentioned that we check every table in a dosette tray, the response I received in response was, you check every tablet? Of course I replied even if there are 15 white ones! Every marking & size checked to ensure the patient gets the correct drug at the correct time. We looked at each other and commented that she had learn't something new that day and should she do some CPD on it? We chuckled and smiled and realised together that we are, although only in the 50-55 age bracket becoming the "old school" in this ever changing sectors of health care, that has over the last decade or two lost it way and is being run by accountants keeping their spreadsheets neatly aligned.

It is not just GPs that are at risk of this, hospital consultants are the same, overworked, governed by non clinical processes that focuses on waiting times and targets and what we must always remember is this, regardless of the qualifications, the intellect of the professional that does not necessarily mean that common sense and proactive treatment is in an abundance. All health professionals should treat every patient just as they would want themselves to be treated or their nearest and nearest and that is a basic respect for another human being.
This book was a refreshing one and I very much enjoyed reading it - I recommend it all, and especially junior doctors and trainee GPs, along with this advice - keep yourself human and be guided by not just your knowledge but also common sense, moral and ethical compasses." Amazon reviewer

I really enjoyed reading this book "I am not a healthcare professional, but I have lots of experience as a patient! Its an easy read with short chapters, is full of wise advice and is written with a good dose of humour. It would be especially helpful for newly qualified GP's, but is an enjoyable read for patients too!" Amazon reviewer
Easy and pleasant read by what would appear to be a dedicated GP "A delightfully written book by an experienced GP. A GP who is obviously sensitive to all of patient’s needs as well as his own. Hopefully he and other GPs will always have the desire to help others no matter what their circumstances, even if at times they have to put others medical needs before their own. He sounds a true professional doctor who would always help a person in need and lead by example." Amazon reviewer
An excellent read for newly qualified GPs "A smorgasbord of advice, anecdotes and humour make for a very enjoyable and helpful read. As a newly qualified GP I found the nuggets of advice very insightful and I will be recommending this to my peers!" Amazon reviewer

"This little book is well written and has a pleasant, informal style… The first part of the book covers what [the author] calls the soft skills, but what could be called the social skills required to make the consultation work most successfully… This section might be ideal for a trainer with a trainee facing clinical skills assessment.
… The second part of the book tries to encourage and enable the career GP to look after themselves. Again, well written, it is full of useful advice…. To sum up, a short book from which every GP might learn something."“At times nostalgic, but frequently emotional and so positive, this book is an easy-access antidote to the calls for ‘resilience’ and the anti-patient rhetoric that seems to appear all too commonly on social media, and is a well-timed reminder of why we do the job we do and how to do it effectively.”

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