I’m taking a guilty break from my GP exam study, so it’s a brief blog from me this time.  How do you recognise a Gen-Y doctor? Let me tell you, as I sip my fair-trade chai latte and touch-type on my MacBook Air:

1.  You’ve actually used the word ‘chillax’ in a consultation.

2.  You’d like to save the world – but only if you can do it part-time. How else will you manage your eco-solar-chookshed and your sustainable-organic-vegetable patch?

3.  You play Words With Friends, not Sudoku, while you’re anaesthetising patients.

4.  The administration staff are amazed you can plug in a LAN cable. Or fix the printer. Or touch-type. Or, heaven forbid, SEND A FAX YOURSELF!

5.  You’re planning a Locum Odyssey that entails surfing/working around the country for a few years. YOLO!  (Also, you know what YOLO means.)

6.  You’re not going to hang your diploma on your clinic wall. You’re going to hang photos you took on your DSLR of your hot-air-ballooning adventure over Myanmar, or your trek through the remote Nicaraguan jungle, or your windsurfing tour of the Maldives…

7.  You consult the Twittersphere, not the library, to find out about the most up-to-date medical research.

8.  You’re considering early retirement after 3 years of full-time employment.

9.  You’ve never seen a case of Smallpox. Or Polio. Or TB, Measles, Diptheria, Tetanus… or pretty much any vaccine-preventable disease. (Unless you live in Northern NSW, that is.)

10.  If the Internet shut down, you might not remember how to be a doctor.  See, you haven’t bought textbooks, because they go out of date before they hit the shelves these days. (Scary thought, that one…)

That’s all for now. Back to the books… Or should I say, back to my online subscriptions, FOAMed and RACGP website tutorials?



  1. Ah, but how do you know you’re working with or have become a GP dinosaur? Try this easy quiz :

    1. Your practice manager returns from a DHS meeting and you ask her how it went. She says that she facilitated the strategic rollout of a bottom up stakeholder empowerment toolkit. Do you:

    (a) Reach for the Mental Health detention form?
    (b) Nod sagely?
    (c) Volunteer for the next meeting, saying you could enhance the skill mix of the workshop steering group infrastructure?

    2. You are called to visit a child in your most deprived area, who is ‘burning up, doctor’. Unfortunately, as you approach the child, the family rottweiler, Tyson, appears from behind
    the sofa and starts shagging your leg. Do you:

    (a) Call the police and sue for damages?
    (b) Sigh philosophically?
    (c) Play it safe and fake orgasm?

    3. A drug rep wants to see you. She wants you to prescribe the new hypertension drug, Craposartan. How do you respond:

    (a) Give her a grilling about the lack of comparative trials and clinically relevant endpoints?
    (b) Smile sweetly and grab a few pens?
    (c) Tell her that you are so keen to learn about this drug you would like her to sponsor a conference at any five star hotel with its own personal masseur and golf course?

    4. The local midwife asks you when you last disinfected the toys in your consulting room. How do you respond?

    (a) Toys? What toys?
    (b) Promise to dip them in chlorhexidine. Sometime. When you get a minute.
    (c) Bin the lot and invest in the complete range of Harry Potter merchandise.

    5. A medical student wants to ‘shadow’ you for the day so she can learn about your job. Do you:

    (a) Take her to some fascinating medico-political meetings.
    (b) Check that your surgery includes Mrs Grumblebore, the legendary heartsink with 4
    kilograms of notes.
    (c) Do a follow-up visit to the child in question 2, making damn sure the student goes in first.

    6. Your last patient on a busy Friday afternoon is requesting a referral to an allergy specialist. His Alternative Healer has diagnosed, with the aid of a dowsing pendulum, that he is allergic to wheat, yeast, his mercury fillings, coffee, tea, water and air. He would also like an Epipen, and an emergency maxillo-facial referral to get his fillings removed. How do you respond?

    (a) Carefully explore his ideas, concerns and expectations.
    (b) Refer and pass the buck.
    (c) Whip out your own pendulum, muttering darkly. Then advise him that the ley lines crossing this Health Centre are not auspicious, and will cause him severe geopathic stress – the only solution is for him to register elsewhere…. preferably with that nice Dr Considine

    7. What is evidence based medicine?

    (a) Cookbook medicine.
    (b) Common sense.
    (c) Your religion.

    8. Describe your Personal Development Plan

    (a) Professionally bound, in eight volumes.
    (b) A few bits of A4 paper.
    (c) The greatest work of fiction since Dr Harold Shipman’s Controlled Drug Register.

    9. How’s your Practice budget?
    (a) Underspent
    (b) Overspent
    (c) Marginally worse than Paraguay’s National Debt.

    10. Your last patient is 36 weeks pregnant and has a history of catastrophic postpartum
    haemorrhage and full-blown eclampsia. She would like a home water birth,
    and intends to eat her placenta afterwards. How do you handle this challenging
    (a) Redraw the practice boundary map with a small circle around the patient’s house, rather
    like South Africa and Lesotho.
    (b) Try to reason with her.
    (c) Be overwhelmingly empathetic and buy her a copy of ‘Jamie Oliver’s Placenta party nibbles’.


    For Questions 1, 4, 7 and 10 you get 1 point for A, 2 points for B, 3 points for C.
    For Questions 2, 3, 5, 6 and 8 you get 3 points for A, 2 points for B and 1 point for C.

    How Did You Score?

    24 to 30 points:

    Well, you’re obviously fresh out of training, aren’t you? Its not like Dr Karl in ‘Neighbours’ out there you know. See Dr Tim for a tutorial on Applied Cynicism STAT before you burn out.

    17 to 23 points: You are clearly a well-balanced, well-adjusted GP. Just like me really.

    10 to 16 points: An impressively Jurassic outlook. Why not join your local fibromyalgia support group and have some fun with them?

  2. Love it, Marlene! As a tweeting, FOAM subscribing, tablet-owning Gen Y on a locum odyssey who has written blog posts about snowboarding in Italy and wine-tasting in Spain and is excited to get home to Perth tomorrow to see how my self-sown herbs are going in my bench-top compost enhanced inner-city courtyard appartment are going… I’m afraid I’m guilty of all of the above! But, seriously, no photos on a REAL wall, just on the facebook wall. :)

  3. SNAP! great post!

    hehe, I drink organic espresso whilst I anaesthetise patients!

    Also in my room I have a LARGE picture of me and my son walking on a picturesque beach and plan to put other even LARGER pictures up. No diplomas.

    haha very cool. I too am studying and am procrastinating on FB, Twitter and feedly

  4. Pingback: ATTRACTING GEN Y DOCTORS TO THE BUSH: Do we need to breed GP Chameleons? | The Doctor's Dilemma

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