from the local library yesterday. I did this after a quite pleasant visit to the doctor.
"I haven't seen you for seven months and eight days," he told me, "the computer never lies."
"The computer," I told him, "is only as good as the information you and your colleagues throw into it. "
He agreed. We talked about Ben Goldacre's "Bad Pharma" and he agreed the medical profession is not well informed. Then he surprised me by saying, "I never give my patients anything unless it has been on the market for at least ten years and I can see proof that it does the job."
Well yes, he probably is the most conservative and cautious member of the team. I know the practice leader has close ties with the pharmaceutical industry. It may be why people avoid visiting him if they can.
I left with threats to buy my GP a copy of Bad Pharma for Christmas. He would prefer I made him shortbread.
At the library, which I visited on the way home, I thought of him again. The new "story telling" session for the infants and toddlers was just starting. This is really a nursery rhyme sing along with pictures and the simplest sort of picture book being shown and talked about. The children are not expected to sit still or be quiet - but they are often are if they are not joining in the "singing".
I watched their faces. I watched the faces of the young mothers and the grandparents who had brought them to the session. I watched the faces of some of the other adults in the library.
One person working at the computers looked up and frowned slightly when the singing started but I heard someone else humming "One, two, three, four five - once I caught a fish alive" almost under his breath. The boy issuing books at the desk was moving ever so slightly in time to the sounds of "Gum trees are tall..."
A small toddler who was late wriggled out of his mother's grasp and rushed down to the front of the group. His face was alive with expectation.
His mother sat down on a small chair with a sigh and put a fractious baby over her shoulder. She quietened.
I collected the book I had ordered and prowled out to "Hickory Dickory Dock"... and decided that libraries are still the best prescription of all.