Ask Nan: BS-free advice for the stressed GP

4 minute read

In her day people knew what their doctors were worth.

Dear Nan,
I have an 83-year-old patient I adore. She comes to see me once a week with a clutch of home-made Anzac biscuits. The problem is the practice is introducing a gap fee, even for pensioners, and I’m torn. What should I do?
Dr Bunuel

Dear Dr Bunuel,
I wouldn’t worry too much, love, here’s why. My friend Betty goes on holiday three times a year and this year she’s going on a QE2 cruise to New Zealand. Her bar bill alone will be about $3000. Rumour has it that her left hip is made of platinum and her right knee is solid gold. If you melted Betty down you’d make about $10K from the scrap metal alone.
If you want my advice, charge your elderly patient 40 bucks a pop, then the old cow might actually start valuing you as much as you value her – Anzac biscuits or not!

Dear Nan,
My colleague has recently retired and I’ve inherited quite a few patients from him. Many of them have been on opioids for years. Are you able to give me any tips on how to wean them off?
Dr C. Andalou

Dear Dr C. Andalou,
If I were you I’d keep their opioids going. My friend Elsa at the knitting club swears by them. She says there’s nothing quite like a nice warm cup of Milo and a great big handful of Panadeine Forte to make those long winter nights fly by. She also sleeps like a log.
Between you and me, though, her knitting’s turned to shit!

Dear Nan,
I’ve heard that psilocybin can be really useful for anxiety and PTSD. Do you have any experiences you could share? 
Dr D’or

Dear Dr D’or,
I’ve only had one experience with psychedelics and that was back in the 60s. My late husband Geoff, God rest his soul, and I were walking through a forest when we stumbled across a crop of strange-looking mushrooms. Being youthful and adventurous, and a bit stupid, we decided to boil them up.
I spent the next three days completely off my tits, and when I finally came round I was stark-naked in the post office and Geoff was trying to pee in the post-box. Dreadful stuff if you ask me.
Having said that, Elon Musk takes psychedelics. Sure, he wants to live on Mars like some kind of vitamin-D deficient Dr Manhattan, but also, he’s rich, so maybe they’re good for you?

Dear Nan,
I’m a female GP and see a lot of complicated patients. I also have three young children at home and since my husband works as a car mechanic I’m also the main breadwinner. I’m a bit stressed to be honest and finding it increasingly difficult to cope. Do you have any tips?
Dr Lynch

Dear Dr Lynch,
Oh love, that sounds horrible. Ellie my grandaughter is a medical student and she tells me that over 80% of her year are women, which is no bad thing, of course, but where have all the young men gone? I’ll tell you, they’re eating kebabs and glued to OnlyFans and pissing their weekly wages up the wall, that’s where!
I’ve got a feeling that if Ellie ever wants to settle down with someone her equal she might have to start licking the other side of the stamp, if you know what I mean!

Dear Nan,
I’m burnt out and the thought of a Medicare audit or an AHPRA referral terrifies me. Fear has paralysed me and I’m now scared to make even the smallest mistake and my colleagues don’t seem to understand. Can you help?
Dr B. Velvet

Dear Dr B. Velvet,
Don’t worry, love, I’m scared of all sorts of things. One evening I was sat knitting a cosy for my grandaughter’s stethoscope when a giant hunstman ran silently up my nightie. I was so scared I peed myself.
But as I’ve got older I’ve discovered that fear lives inside your own head and that there really is nothing scarier than fear itself. Unless you’ve got a giant huntsman running up your leg, which is a real pants-wetter. My advice to you, dear, is don’t try to spear his juicy fast-moving body with a knitting needle – get your cat to take the bugger down! 

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