College’s cunning trap to lure unwary med students

3 minute read

Did we say ‘trap’? We meant ‘incentive’.

The Medical Republic sat down with Professor Candid, workplace relations consultant to the RACGP, to talk about the latest proposal to compensate GP registrars for the financial loss they immediately suffer upon choosing the speciality.

TMR: Thank you for speaking with us today, Professor.

PC: Not at all, it’s a pleasure. 

TMR: As you know GP recruitment is running at an all-time low. 

PC: Indeed.

TMR: And ensuring a home-grown workforce is a challenging problem. But the college has been working on some creative solutions, hasn’t it? Why don’t you tell us about those? 

PC: Yes, we’ve been working very hard at the college. Sometimes we’ve had to miss afternoon tea and sometimes we’ve had to stay until five, can you believe it! 

TMR: What are you proposing? 

PC: Well, let me backtrack a little. I live in a very old house. It was my father’s house, it was his father’s before him and before that my great grandfather lived in a hole in the ground and spent most of his day coughing up blood. TB’s a dreadful thing.

Anyway, the point is this, the house is old and we have a mouse problem.


PC: Don’t get me wrong, I love mice as much as the next man. They have lovely little hands and little pink noses, but when you wake up with one in your mouth or when you open the pantry door and a great tangle of them fall on you, you know you’ve got a problem.

And so I said to my wife, I said, “Wife” – I forgot her name a long time ago – I said “Wife, we have a problem.” 

TMR: And … what did she say? 

PC: Nothing. She wasn’t there. She’d left three weeks earlier to stay with her sister. Women!

TMR: …

PC: So I set about solving the mouse problem and in so doing I invented the world’s largest mouse trap. Within just a few days the last mouse had been humanely captured, transported … and …

TMR:  … and …

PC: And brutally killed.

TMR: Right. 

PC: But it doesn’t take a Professor Candid to realise that all you need to do in life is use the right bait!

TMR: I’m sorry? Look, where is this–

PC: And there’s nothing humans love more than a great big dollop of cash!  

TMR: I see. Are we talking about incentives here? 

PC: Maybe we are. The way I see it is this. Registrars are like mice. They have cute little hands and pink noses and most of them like cheese, some of them even have tails, but all of them, without fail will fall for a trap as long as it’s properly baited. Once they’ve gone for the 32K and a bit of study leave they’ll find themselves tangled up in the spring-loaded machinery of general practice, the barbed wire snare from which only a few lucky ones will ever escape, usually by gnawing through one of their legs. 

TMR: So is the RACGP suggesting using money as a bait? 

PC: I don’t know. Are we? 

TMR: …

PC: …

TMR: Is that a mouse under your chair? 

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