There was a time when a GP’s work was the most exciting part of the day.
The doctors, nurses, pharmacists and midwives were all present, but the real thrill was when you sat down to work, read your patient’s medical records and put them together.
For some, this was a big part of their day and they might do their best to do their job to the best of their ability, but for others it meant a lot more.
It’s a big reason why some people say they never get the time off, or even leave work, because they need to spend time with their family.
And for some, that’s not an option.
Dr John Glynn has been in the GP profession for 30 years and has worked in rural Australia for more than 40 years.
Dr Glynn said there was a sense of family and community, and he had a keen sense of how much time you needed to be working.
It was also the time when you could go to a family home and see their kids, he said. “
There are a lot of people in the community who work in the hospital and we’ve got a very large number of people working in the home.”
It was also the time when you could go to a family home and see their kids, he said.
Dr Glen Burt is a GP in rural Queensland.
His son has Down syndrome and was born prematurely at 19 weeks.
Dr Burt said there were no restrictions on where a GP could go.
“You can go to the hospital for a lot less than in a city,” he said, but there was always a concern that it might be a bit more stressful for some of the parents.
“The reality is that a lot are very anxious about where they are going to be in their own community, so it’s a bit of a juggling act to make sure that we can get the best balance.”
He said many people who worked in hospitals could get to the point where they were getting too much sleep, and that could be an issue.
Dr Ciaran Jones is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Adelaide.
He said it was common for some people to be tired by the time they got home, and they didn’t know what they would do about it.
“For some, the only way they could manage it was to sleep, but I think that’s an issue,” Dr Jones said.
He added that it was often difficult to get a sense for the health of a patient because of the lack of sleep.
“When you work as a GP, there are all sorts of things that go on that are completely unmeasured, but that is the case for a huge number of us,” he says.
“A lot of us have a lot to be stressed about, but a lot that can be ignored.”
Dr Jones says some of his patients were tired by work.
“They were not doing the work, they were not seeing the patients and they were just not getting any sleep at all,” he explains.
Dr Jones also had some concerns about the way people were treated.
“I don’t think I ever got a case where a patient said they were exhausted, but they did say they were very tired,” he adds.
“And then I was like, ‘Well, that can’t be right, there must be some other explanation’.” Dr Jones has had patients who were in a coma or who had lost consciousness and who needed support.
“People who have suffered this kind of thing, I’ve worked with, I know what a difficult experience it is,” he told RN Breakfast.
Dr Alan Smith is a professor of medical education at the Australian National University.
He is also the founder of the Medical Ethics and Social Justice Research Network, which works with organisations that work on ethical practices.
“Many people think the GP will be doing the best for their patient, and for their family, by putting them at ease, but when you have people who are very tired, you have to have a very good understanding of their mental health,” he tells RN Breakfast, adding that it can be difficult to work in a world where many people are exhausted.
“Sometimes I think about the work that was done to get the GP to the level of understanding people need and understanding they are able to work around, which is really quite a significant amount of work,” Dr Smith says.
Dr Smith points out that in rural hospitals, most of the time the GP would be doing work that required more energy, and it can take a lot longer.
“Some of those hours are going away.
But I do think that the GP is doing something that they are doing because of their work, so there is a sense that they can do that work and they can be a good person,