It’s depressing to read that doctors in Scotland are suffering “stress and burnout” due to their enormous workloads (your report, 31 December).
Over the years I have had many GPs and, based on my own experience I can tell you that those who care the most are also the ones who suffer the most.
One GP who has taken great care of my family looks increasingly frail and tense. She takes time to ask the right questions and listen properly to the answers, and as a result works throughout her “breaks” and always stays late.
On the other hand, I have had doctors who clearly follow the adage: “Don’t let it get to you”. In other words, they get consultations out of the way as quickly as possible, and fob patients off with the old “paracetamol and three days off work” chestnut.
These doctors probably sleep well, and have a decent work-life balance, but I’ll bet they make mistakes. They certainly have in my case – and the consequent extra time I had to use the NHS proves this was a ridiculous, false, and dangerous economy.
We need to find a happy medium. We need to value the people who have the skills and aptitute to keep us healthy. It’ll be cheaper in the long run.