Tuesday, September 02, 2008

General Medical Council 150th anniversary

I admit I am a little bit obsessed with the GMC. I admit it, I hate institutions especially one that does as much damage as the GMC. I have talked to too many doctors on the brink of suicide because of the way the GMC treats doctors with health problems, to have much time for it. I have also had too many friends commit suicide whilst under investigation by the General Medical Council. Belinda Brewer one of the founders of the Doctors Support Network spent several years in their shadow. There is only so much one person can take.

One way to look at the General Medical Council and the consequent rise of medicine is through the eyes of history. The GMC has only been with us for 150 years. It is like the poor laws and the workhouse, a Victorian institution. Most institutions celebrate their anniversaries! why has not the GMC not sent us all a bit of its birthday cake? There is only one reference to this anniversary on the website.

The supremacy of medicine is a twentieth century thing. Unravelling DNA has not produced any wild insights, and biotech firms failed to deliver on their promises, so perhaps medicine too, has had its day. After all, we have not always had GMC revalidated doctors. More and more people are looking elsewhere to manage their health and well being. Rather than trying to the stick the head back on a dinosaur, perhaps the time has come to admit doctors are just one of many healing arts available to the modern discerning consumer.

Possibly by trying to appear older, the GMC hopes to appear more impressive. Because 150 years is not a long time amongst the thousands of years of human history during which time people have helped each other overcome injury and disease. The GMC is not even as old as America! Maybe on balance Mr Catto and the GMC feel it is best to hush the whole thing up.

The General Medical Council 1858

The Royal Automobile Club 1889

St James Club 1857

Theodore Roosevelt born 1858


Copyright (c) Dr. Liz Miller


Socrates said...

*GASP* You dare to question authority?!

Dr. Liz Miller said...

I wouldn't go that far - its hardly an authority ;-)