I was out at a local Chinese restaurant with Mrs Shrink, after a fatality within the oven in our kitchen wrote off a nutitious evening meal, 'less your idea of nutritious involves burnt unidentifiable charcoal clumps.
Out we went. We ordered lots of nibbly things. Very nice they were, too.
The owner kept looking at me. I couldn't think why. He came over to thank me for treating his daughter, in the 1990's sometime, when I was working out in GP land. Apparently I'd diagnosed her skin condition correctly as eczema, I'd given her the right creams and oils and she'd been cured.
He remembered that. He remembered me and what I'd done for his child. Patients do that, with GPs. The current NHS changes invite discourse on what GPs do that's important, what GPs do that's delegable, what GPs do that can be displaced to other services. This contact stirred thoughts that, frankly, that's all missing the point. The gentleman approached me 2 decades on to offer his gratitude because that consultation and care within General Practice had rich meaning to him. It mattered. And that's the bottom line . . . what GPs do makes a difference to peoples' lives, is valued and deeply meaningful.