Soul searching is a wretched occupation to be sure, and yet sadly there are times when it becomes unavoidable. For me the past few months have been just such a time, and the truth is I'm far from happy with the conclusions I am reluctantly drawn to make.
You see folks, before you stands a creature as obsolete as the diplodocus, the marsupial lion, the dodo. It appears the job I spent almost half my life training for, and the remainder practicing, is no longer relevant. Family Practice, at least the sort of practice I understood as such, is dead.
The thing that hurts most about this is the knowledge that I and my colleagues have been at least complicit in, if not active proponents of its demise. Never has it been more true that good intentions make for the poorest choice of paving. It matters little how we got here, except perhaps to historians who in years to come may pore over the all too brief social experiment that was the post war Labour administration's establishment of the welfare and national health systems that now lie in tatters. It's what we do next that really matters. So for what it's worth, and for as long as I am able, I shall continue to ply my trade the best way I know how to any who wish to avail themselves of my services.
But with an uncaring, pettyfogging, beureaucratic civil service under a runaway political class on the one side, and an increasingly litigious, narcissistic, solipsistic populace on the other, I'm starting to feel more than a little like Han Solo in a trash compactor.
And the walls keep on closing in.