Motivating patients is like a game - you win some, you lose some

Early in my career I naively believed that it was my responsibility to motivate all my patients to be paragons of health. Otherwise I felt I was a failure.

What did I know? I was young, enthusiastic and clueless.

Setting high standards is not without its merit. Sometimes blind optimism succeeds.

One of my proudest moments occurred after spending 45 minutes trying to convince a mother to vaccinate her child. It was to no avail. Mum still refused.

Totally exhausted by my efforts I blurted out: "I'm sorry, but I can't be your GP anymore. I