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Consultantitis - Part 1

Written by Chantal Cox-George · Wednesday 29th January 2014


  1. a person who provides expert advice professionally:
    he acted as campaign consultant to the president

  2. [OFTEN AS MODIFIER] British a hospital doctor of senior rank within a specific field: a consultant paediatrician


  1. forming names of inflammatory diseases: cystitis, hepatitis

(Origin - from Greek feminine form of adjectives ending in -it?s (combined with nosos 'disease' implied) )

You may not be surprised to hear that the way in which I recently heard the term 'consultantitis' used cannot be understood to mean 'inflammation of the senior hospital doctor'. Although, I wish it was.

Professionalism, compassion, transparency, teamwork and communication - all terms that appear to be used with an increasing regularity within the NHS. These are concepts that are not merely taught but preached to medical students today. Why? Well it is nit merely the work of a heavily publicised inquiry into a foundation trust, neither is it the upshot of the medical profession's own Voldemort - he who must not be named (except I will name him - Harold Shipman).

Is it then an attempt to heal the wounds within our national health service from within? I hope so. Yet, there are countless more 'isms' and other terms being muttered under the breath of healthcare professionals all over the country. 'Consultantitis' is one that fills me with sadness for one reason in particular: it suggests that those at the top are at the core of some of the problems.

Ponder over that for a while, I intend to explain myself further in my next blog post.

To be continued****.