The BMJ Today: Staying ahead of getting behind

tinukeI live in London, a city where most things are fast paced. Coffees are made to go, walking is more of an Olympic sprint, and our time is valued with the precision and importance usually reserved for world leaders. It seems that this isn’t a phenomenon exclusive to city dwellers. David Loxterkamp describes how GPs are burdened with a scarcity of time meaning they are constantly having to prioritise needs in order to stay ahead of getting behind. He feels that “patients deserve a doctor who has time to listen, care about them, and offer hope for the problems they believe are worthy.”

It is important to pay attention to focusing on the fundamentals, much in the same way as you would have had to work on your times tables as a child before moving onto more complicated forms of mathematics. In his blog post, Neal Maskrey mentions the positive impression one of his teachers had on his life. Similarly, we find in this week’s BMJ confidential, that John Guillebaud’s biology master and Cambridge tutor both left lasting impressions. In fact they are both toted as being his inspirations for venturing into medicine. John’s Cambridge tutor, Colin Bertram, gave an evening lecture on population to the St John’s College Medical Society which led him to choose a career in family planning, “the obvious specialty for a doctor concerned about the future of humankind on a finite planet.”

Tinuke Bernard is assistant editor, web production, The BMJ.