A city specialist consulting in the country ponders the tyrannies of life, including health care, in the bush
One of the many privileges I had while in clinical practice as a gastroenterologist was to work in the country. I consulted and did procedures in the beautiful regional city of Bairnsdale — in East Gippsland, about 3 hours’ drive from Melbourne — for 2 days in 1 week every month, for several years. The secretaries in my rooms in Melbourne used to dread my “Bairnsdale weeks”, because I would leave the office with a large suitcase half-full of files, and return with the same suitcase completely full of files, plus multiple dictation tapes. They also dreaded the letters, which were very long because they usually contained detailed information about the patients for the referring general practitioners, so that much of the management of the patients could be done without the need to see me again, given that I was not in Bairnsdale full-time.
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