This poem is part of the Poems for doctors project. You can find out more about the project here.

Season 4 : poem 3

Prof Rona Patey, Consultant Anaesthetist at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and Medical Education Lead at the University of Aberdeen reads The Precious 10 Minutes by Hamish Whyte

The Precious 10 Minutes

Hamish Whyte

The GP stands at the door of his room,
shakes my hand, asks me how I am.
I always smile and say fine, except for…
this niggling problem
or I’m just here for a checkup
or a repeat prescription
or something.

He listens.
He’s a cautious man, gets me tested
just in case: ‘Let’s be sure.’

He sounds me out about an ongoing condition:
if I can live with it
he can live with it.
‘As long as you can do the things
you want to do.’
He knows I’m a worrier.

I don’t feel rushed.
It’s a conversation.
It all seems as it should be.

Rights: by permission of the author

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