The dichotomy between holistic practice and reality

We are supposed to treat patients as people. How this is possible in a general practice session I am unsure. Pressure on appointment slots is intense, and I have heard of practices who insist that consultations can only cover one problem. Not holistic at all. I have many a time spent 20 minutes with a patient whose arthritis was not the problem, but the fact that their spouse, who cared for them, has suddenly died; or there was the lady trying to look after her granddaughter (her own daughter was an alcoholic, also living at home, and disruptive) as well as her own elderly and demented mother. Patients cannot be shoehorned into set slots.

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