12 Dec 2017

Peppa Pig's GP falls foul of BMJ

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan, 1:42 pm on 12 December 2017

An article in the British Medical Journal has identified a high-profile doctor making unnecessary home visits and indiscriminately doling out pink medicine… Dr Brown Bear from the kids' TV show Peppa Pig.

Dr Brown Bear doling out the pink medicine willy-nilly.

Dr Brown Bear doling out the pink medicine willy-nilly. Photo: peppapig.wikia.com

In the show, Dr Brown Bear can be called up at any time and he then drives over to your home within a few minutes.

While this is undoubtedly a great service, it could lead viewers to develop unrealistic expectations of their doctors, says the article's author, Sheffield GP Dr Catherine Bell.

In her article, Dr Bell – whose 2-year-old daughter is a big fan of Peppa Pig –  presents three case studies considering the potential impact of Dr Brown Bear's actions on patient behaviour.

One of these is the health risk for practitioners providing such a service. Dr Brown Bear himself succumbs to illness after attending to a cough at a playgroup and displays "signs of burnout" she says.

Taking this into account, Catherine has this advice to fellow GPs: "Take good care of yourself. Acknowledge when you're approaching burnout, as Dr Brown Bear does, take to your own bed and allow your patients to sing to you."

Dr Bell doesn't believe Dr Brown Bear should lose his medical license, but a 'fitness of practise' investigation might be appropriate, she says.

You can read her article here.

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