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.