Getting though the day – Dr Jamie Wallis – First 5 GP

JamieWallisToday I left work late, exhausted, hungry and mute.
But today I also felt fulfilled.

Today I’ve had people swear at me because I won’t give them non indicated bloods, antibiotics or a scan. I’ve had one patient complain because I was running 15 min late. I’ve had one guy come in drunk and menacing. I’ve had the daily stack letters and bloods to deal with.

But all has been balanced by a home visit to a young dying man. I sat and spent time listening to him. Hearing the frightening journey he has been on so far, eliciting his fears about the journey ahead, trying to offer support to him and his partner, trying to find words to express the awfulness of the situation, trying to swallow the rising lump in my throat as he recounted his life before illness and the impact this has had on the life of his whole family unit.

For the first time in a long time, I forgot time. I ignored my watch and the clock on the wall. And I listened. I didn’t pressure him, finish his sentences for him, pre-empt what he was saying. I just let him speak. At the end he and his partner thanked me. I hadn’t done anything. Just listened. And I felt so humble. And I felt a renewed energy to support him and his young family.

I truly love this job and I wish there was more time. But patients like this remarkable man remind me why I became a GP..

Heart rendering moments where I feel I might be making a difference in some small way.

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