A guide to gifts in general practice

2 minute read

No, not the fun ones from the pharmaceutical industry. The patient ones.

A gift can either be a welcome break from the rigours of general practice or a Trojan horse.

Here’s Prof Candid’s guide to patient gifts:

1. Maltesers

Nothing says “I made no effort” quite like a box of Maltesers.

Next time could you at least make it a Terry’s Chocolate Orange!

2. A CD and a VHS tape

How old do you think I am? A CD by Nomad featuring MC Mikee and a Young Ones video?

Who even owns a CD player these days, let alone a VCR?

Oh well, blow off the dust and be grateful that your patient saw these long-forgotten relics in a Vinnies and thought of you.

3. A CD player and a VCR

Luckily for you one of your patients has sticky fingers and is always looking to palm off a bin-liner full of stolen goods. At least you’ve now got something to play The Young Ones on! 

4. A bottle of Glenfiddich

This patient just gets you. The qualities of a single malt make you think of bagpipes and the River Dee, damp Scottish streets and knife crime. 

5. A handwritten card

Nothing beats a handwritten note from a grateful patient even if it reads:

Dear Doctor, moctor, rocktor, socktor, troctor, cocktor! Thaaaanks for everything!

Because without even seeing them you know you need to increase their lithium dose.

6. A child’s picture

A picture tells a thousand words and and a naive picture from a grateful child can sum up the special role a family doctor plays in people’s lives.

Even if it does look a bit creepy.

7. A knitted sweater for your dog

Your miniature Schnauzer has been spoilt rotten by a granny with too much time on her hands. She’s knitted snuggly sweaters for him in every conceivable colour. Unfortunately none of them fit but you can’t bring yourself to say “no thanks!” 

8. A song

One of your creative patients has gone out of their way to compose a song all about the last bulk-billing doctor in Australia. Or at least they used AI to do it!

9. $1 million and a Mercedes

If a patient offers you this run a mile, unless you want to appear on A Current Affair.

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