New skills for general practice: Setting boundaries

19th February 2016 by NASGP

New skills for general practice: Setting boundaries

In her previous article, Sonia made an argument for redefining what skills we should be looking for in general practice. Here’s the first of those skills – setting boundaries.

Why do I think that setting boundaries is a vital career skill?

Without it (and I have observed this in many doctors, not just GPs) there arises a slow but inexorable erosion of what one perhaps thought might be one’s boundary, and one’s concept of “self” becomes invaded. If one has no boundaries, or poorly set boundaries, then it is very easy to become overwhelmed by other people’s demands. If their demands increase (and I think we can be safe in saying that general practice is experiencing an increasing demand from many quarters) then what may have been reasonable boundaries before now aren’t.

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