This blog series transforms a series of medical specialties into different planets. This blog focuses on working as a GP. Read on to find out more about GPluto!
GPluto, as a planet, stands apart from the rest of the healthcosmos. Where the majority of the NHS’s constellations remain in hospital clusters, granting them access to greater resources, GPluto exists in the far-flung void – isolated and alone. However, despite its distance from the more advanced clusters, it is perhaps the most integral part of the Healthcosmos – the very centre of the medic-verse.
The reason GPluto is so crucial is that it’s purpose, like Spacestation A.N.E., is to be a first port of call for visitors to the NHS galaxy, allowing primary assessment before sending those in need to appropriate specialty planets. Whereas Spacestation A.N.E deals with visitors in life-threatening/ urgent situations, GPluto contends with the rest – the hundreds of visitors who don’t think they’re dying, but just have this niggling issue or three that do at some point need addressing. Or at least that’s how it goes in theory….
GPluto’s surface is a highly variable terrain, with climates and environments that wouldn’t be amiss on a range of other planets – a pinch of paediatrics here, a spot of psychiatry there, maybe some cardiology in places, and a lot – and I mean, A LOT – of dermatology. Be ready to see lots of rashes, spots and lumps, as these, alongside muscle pains and colds, are commonplace primary care problems.
The planet’s diversity means that natives of GPluto must be adept in pretty much all specialties, but there is one further skill that GPlutonians have mastered, that is even more vital to their survival. Visitors attend GPluto like some immense, innumerable shoal of fish (you can almost hear the David Attenborough narration as the waiting room fills), and though most of the shoal are minnows, there are sharks lurking within.
For every million-and-one infant visitors with viral infections, there will be one with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, and it is up to GPlutonians to pick up on clues that give away that one of these things is not like the others. No pressure then.
For most Studenterprise crew members, GPluto is the planet upon which they shall spend the most time, and if used properly, will learn the most.
The key thing to remember is to stay active. It is easy on GPluto to just sit and watch clinics – a tempting prospect given the early wake-up required to travel to the distant planet – but after about an hour, crew members will lose focus, and begin yearning to do something other than just listening (except ward rounds, which are only worse than this because you don’t get to sit down), often tarring the entirety of time on GPluto with the same “boring and unhelpful” brush.
If offered, crew should run consultations themselves(under supervision of course – otherwise Jaws may pass unnoticed…), as this consultation practice, in a peaceful, inviting setting, is practically non-existent on other planets, and forms the design upon which most of your OSCE examinations are based.
An underrated, under-resourced and under-staffed planet, GPluto plays a more important role than you realise, and presents learning opportunities like no other to crew members that are willing to take them – you only require patience, a can-do attitude and a friendly outlook.
Words and illustration: Eric Richardson
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