Monday, July 03, 2006

Dress codes.

Before I get cracking a couple of "notices".

First it is my pleasure to announce that the Paediatric Grand Rounds for 1.6 have been published at shinga's site http://breathspakids.blogspot.com/ and include a couple of posts from yours truly plus a host of fascinating food for thought I really wish I had written. Hopefully even non-medics will find a lot of this as interesting as I have. Thanks to Shinga.

Second, this could well have been a ranty post all about the wicked Mrs Hewitt, who this weekend implied that GPs represent Private Healthcare provided to the NHS. Whilst it is the case that GPs are generally subcontracted "corner shop" partnerships contracted to provide GP services to the NHS, this is a million miles form being "Private Practice" in the context of the interview she was giving. True private primary care provision vests in large outfits such as US style HMOs. We have never seen such a thing in Blighty, and I hope and pray we never do. Ask any American for their opinion of HMOs and you will see why. So for now my only response to Mrs Hewitt is to say "How very dare you!" and to bet that I'll still be in my job when you have been sacked from yours. Oh and at my charge out rate for "Private work" she now owes me £50 for the response.

But I'm not going to rant today. Instead there have been a few incidents over the last week or so that have me pondering dress codes.

The past couple of weeks have seen Borsetshire bathed in sunshine. Daily temperatures are rising nicely into the high twenties, or seventies / eighties for non metric readers. In response Drs J and Neighbour have abandoned ties and gone "shirt-sleeve order". This has attracted some adversecommentt from our manager and newly elevated senior partner, but we both figure our regulars would rather see us cool and collected than plethoric and distracted. Still it does leave me feeling a little bit out-of-uniform, as though abandoning the neck-wear is the start of some slippery slope to loss of professional identity. So I find myself compensating with the draped stethoscope "St Elsewhere's" look as popularized in the eighties by the TV series of that name. Any opinions on the tie / no-tie/ no-tie-but-draped- stethoscope conundrum gratefully accepted.

Next we have the sandals and socks debate. It's something british blokes seem to have real issues with. We were at a lunchtime gathering of Lady J's work colleagues this weekend. It was, as previously noted, pretty warm, so shorts and sandals seemed the right look. Now I know bare british manly toes are seldom a thing of beauty, but socks and sandals seems to defeat the whole object. Hence the Jest toes on full public display. This was a surprise to at least one attendee resplendent in beige socks beneath his sandals. At least on this one I know where I stand, and I shall not be moved. Maybe it would be better if I painted the nails though? Then again, perhaps not....

And last but not least, the White DJ*. It was the boat club dinner this weekend. A "black tie" do. Funny how that phrase has stuck though the majority of ties on display (we are talking bow ties here by the way) were anything but black, mine own included. The best was a resplendent rainbow tie and cummerbund combination worn by the biggest rower in the club, but I digress.... As I was saying, for the dinner the proper formal-wear was required, so out of the moth infested depths of the wardrobe comes the Dr J DJ. It's traditional, black, single breasted and shiny collared. It's also very heavy, and twenty eight degrees in the shade (which rather neatly is eighty two in fahreheit). So off I go to my tailor-- heh --and the assistant finds me a white number, half the mass, but probably twice the price of the black twin left on the hanger at home.

So off to the do. I managed to stop introducing myself to all and sundry with the catchy- "the name's Jest, Doc Jest" and asking for vodka martinis, shaken not stirred, after the merest playful kick on the shin from the eldest. (He's the rower, and was fed up with his embarrassing dad, probably a fair cop). During the course of the evening we got to wondering about the etiquette of black vs white DJ's. Again any thoughts welcomed.

Now that's off my chest normal service may be resumed later this week....


* Sorry but Tuxedo is not a word that belongs in any self respecting Englishman's vocabulary.

8 comments:

Geena said...

Gosh so much to comment on..I shall be here all night..

First..HMO's - or, as we called them back home, Medical Aid Societies...a very expensive option but a necessary one where I come from...public healthcare is dicey, to say the least...and private care is the norm, even though it costs a fortune..but then you get top-notch service. I can't see the general Brit ever going for that as the NHS (or public care ) is so entrenched in your culture it's become a 'right'. Much as it is in France. Perhaps what they need to do is think about subsidised care, as we have here. I pay for private insurance but it's cheap (42 euros a month) and only pay 6 euros per consultation as opposed to the full 20. Medication is fully covered....about 70% by the State and the balance by the insurance. I am very impressed with the French healthcare - it is thorough and excellent..almost OTT. But something has to be done to the NHS - it cannot continue like it is. Needs revamping.

As for the tie vs stethoscope..I have yet to see a French GP (or one at home) wear either. They dress nicely in open-necked shirts and trousers..of course in a hospital they all have the steth around the neck...but I think that's a necessity as those chaps are on the move. So..I vote for the no tie/no steth option. You'll look far more approachable too...British GP's tend to look like they have carrots up their bums.

DJ - white? Horrors! No no - haul out the black..much nicer..only waiters where white.

Socks and sandals? Only a retarded male would consider that.

Oooh I have written an entire post.

Oh - I have changed my blog and my identity so you won't know who the heck I am will you...heh heh heh....a little puzzle, then Dr J. i think there's enough clues there anyway and you're a doctor..you'll figure it out...

Shinga said...

If you were taking a vote - I'd go with a short-sleeved collar-less shirt.

If I needed to consult a GP, I'd take a conscious one who can remain awake and free from heat-stroke over one who is heavily flushed and napping on the ground but that's me. I don't understand dress codes and QoF points (but obviously there can't be additional points for conscious GPs or you wouldn't be having this discussion about dress codes).

The Met Office's Heat-Health Watch got a lot of coverage this morning. I hope that you were delighted with Dr. Rosemary's advice on BBC Breakfast this morning, with an overview of how to put together a swamp cooler (a fan blowing over a bag of ice albeit this was the cause of death in a CSI episode). Now, it might have been more helpful if we punters had actually been given advice on how to spot heat-stroke in vulnerable groups: plus, advice to consult your asthma-plan (say) or what to do if you have COPD but I don't think the BBC could make up its mind whether or not this was all jolly good fun or a grown-up health advisory.

Socks and sandals are a definite no-no. I was inclined to dismiss the idea of painting the toenails and then I realised that it would be an object of fascination to the very young. Equally, an object of repulsion to some other sectors of your patient-list...

Regards - Shinga

Doctor Jest said...

Geena-- phew. Gave me a bit of a scare when I stopped by your old place and found nobody home. Glad your alter ego is still around. Not quite sure about the Bridget Jonesey toxicometer otherwise cool site. Oh and thanks for the fashion tips. It's just possible I will ditch the tie for good. Not so sure I can let go of the carrot quite yet tho'...

Shinga-- you're probably right about the nails. I think I'll stick with sensible shoes for the surgery tho'.

Agree a little respiratory advice wouldn't have gone amiss, but must confess I shy away from TV Docs. They all leave me rather queasy, unlike the fictional American ones that is....

Z said...

As long as you are sticking by the carrot and the carrot isn't stuck in you ......
Let's face it, you look marvellous, white or black DJ. If it's you, it's U.

Highly enjoyable to see 'plethoric' used literally rather than figuratively.
An assistant at the local hardware shop has black painted fingernails. I didn't see his toes - but black toes would just look as if you'd dropped concrete on your feet. Green. I see you in green. Or purple.

Geena said...

No that meter isn't loooking to healthy, is it..:-(..never mind..it's there to slap my face with my blah habits..

Z - I am just learning to skip over the big words used by Dr J and Greavsie...too tedious at the end of the day...but yes..purple nails...lovely..

Shinga said...

I, too, enjoyed plethoric. I did manage mimosaphant the other day: my husband said, "You're not thinking about work by any chance, are you?". I maintain silence on that point.

Regards - Shinga

Mr Angry said...

The only time you should ever see socks inside sandals is when they're behind the counter of a public library.

Doctor Jest said...

z / geena-- thank you ladies. Purple it is then, tho' I've got a feeling that may look almost as bad as black....

shinga-- after yesterday's Practice Meeting I think I may have identified a couple of Mimosaphants here. Cracking good word that. Unappealing behaviour in kids tho' and probably inexcusable in 50 yo men....

Angry-- or at a lib-dem convention surely, along with massed straggly beards and CND badges.