A day in the life of……a Deep End Locum
17th November 2022
I think what I found challenging was the complexity of each patient, as due to the local population being of poor health almost everyone regardless of age had a significant list of co-morbidities, medications and in a lot of cases substance abuse issues. Whereas in other areas you may get a few more “simple” patients, it seemed that almost everyone was complex.
I think there were a lot of multiple symptom/ issue presentations with most patients presenting with more than one issue. Often there had been delays in presentations too – so patients were often presenting quite acutely unwell often with significant pathology (I think I saw multiple MI, PE etc in the brief time I was there!)
As a result of this my clinic was pretty much always an hour behind or often longer – which in turn seemed to cause more conflict with patients being upset about having to wait, or feeling that because they had to wait they wanted “their money’s worth” so they wanted to deal with 3-4 issues rather than 1 or two.
I think the combination of the above, plus other minor factors meant that it was probably one of the most challenging places I’ve ever worked (and I’ve worked in some of Newcastle most deprived areas on many occasions including as a GP trainee).