I have a soft spot for doctors. My experience of them – both GPs and hospital consultants – has been overwhelmingly good. They’re really bright people, highly skilled and mostly doing the best they can for their patients.
Quite a few of my clients this year and last have been doctors – more than at any time I can remember. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. It’s bad because it’s an indication of the stress that doctors are under in an underfunded, understaffed NHS. The consultant I treated yesterday was about to do a two-week stint with no break. He said he would spend nights at the hospital and some nights he would be lucky to sleep two or three hours. It’s crazy. It’s terrible for the poor doctors and it’s hardly reassuring for patients – would you want to be operated on by a surgeon who’s exhausted?
But the increasing number of doctors making their way to me is also good news in that it shows that doctors are beginning to look after themselves and in ways they probably would not have done in the past. Doctors have always been pretty rubbish at musculoskeletal problems – GPs normally tell patients to take a paracetamol. Now they themselves are seeking out massage therapists to help them cope with the stresses of their jobs. I'm only too happy to help. We need to look after the people who do such a brilliant job of looking after us.