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Dear Douglas,

 

The biggest challenge to being a GP is sometimes meeting patients who aren’t actually ill, but really need more emotional help. It can be like deciphering a mental puzzle with no clues. One morning a few weeks ago, a young Caucasian female traveller arrived at the clinic. She was in her twenties, was travelling through Asia with her friends, and had arrived from Thailand a few days before. The consultation started as she was concerned as she’d had diarrhoea for three days with lower abdominal pain.

 

There was once a celebrated Society for Dead Poets. In my opinion, many authors who have died in the past 12 months should also be celebrated. So here goes.

I was speaking recently with the mother of a toddler and I reflected afterwards on the description she gave of her child’s need for her comfort object, in this case a stuffed bunny.

There is intense competition among cities throughout the world for investment, which in turn means wealth for those cities.

A student turned traveller turned up at the FMP clinic on Saturday night at 10.45pm with pains across the chest and an uncomfortable heartbeat; he’d spent the day with friends walking the streets of Hanoi looking at some of the old buildings and having great fun. He told the staff he’d had a few late nights with friends drinking the local beers and enjoying the new tasty food. He was having a really great time; but now he felt strange with pains and dizziness.

The final stretch. Riding his dear bike, Nemo, Matt is nearing Kathmandu

 

If you’ve read this column regularly you know that the mantra of “calories in versus calories out” is not the total picture when attempting to lose fat and shape up. Our bodies are in constant flux in the never-ending efforts to maintain homeostasis — the state of equilibrium and balance.

 

Dear Douglas,

We’ve looked at ill-defined terminology before. The non-profit sector not only loves its jargon (MEAL policy, anyone?) but what about those popular — and hazy — words that sound like they really nail something on the head, but upon closer inspection collapse under the weight of their lofty ambitions. ‘Building capacity’ or ‘sustainability’ or ‘delivering impact’ (ack!) are all suspect terms and rightfully so. They’re overused and defined so broadly as to become meaningless. I’ll offer up ‘empowerment’ to demonstrate what I mean.

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