“I want you to be my friend, not my patient” – social dilemmas for rural GPs.

Genevieve's anthology

I’ve just read a brilliant column by Dr Mel Clothier in this month’s Rural Doctor

Making friends is hard to do | Rural Doctor
http://www.ruraldr.com.au/opinion/last-yarn/making-friends-is-hard-to-do

She talks about how hard it is for rural doctors to separate their professional and social lives. This is such an important, difficult and often under-appreciated problem for rural doctors, especially when they’re starting out and trying to get established in a rural area. Although such dual relationships are challenging for everyone, I get the impression that the friendship/ patient dilemma is often hardest for young single females (would be happy to hear any opinions to the contrary!).

I know that I found it really hard as a registrar. This aspect of rural practice contributed significantly to my being almost burned out by the end of my training. Overworked and socially isolated, I thought that I may have made a big mistake in becoming…

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