Each month Krystal Burt finds out what makes our doctors tick, this month it's Dr Jasper Mahon.
What inspired you to become a doctor?
A family friend – doctor, wine merchant, Monte Carlo Rally racer and, most importantly, let me drive his tractor when I was about 8. Seemed like a good life – I’ve made it to be a doctor, still have aspirations on the other counts.
What do you know now, that you wished you knew before becoming a GP?
That the days of being a gentleman GP/wine merchant/racing driver are long gone.
What are your long term plans?
Stay at CCMC until I retire to the country
How would you describe the role of a GP?
“Your Specialist in Life” – I mean, really, who thinks up this stuff? Why am I paying for these ads? We’re medical generalists providing patient-centred healthcare dealing with all physical, psychological and social aspects of disease and also promoting preventative medicine/lifestyle choices.
Why did you decide to work in a private practice?
Allows me to spend more time with the patients and give them better care.
What days do you work, do you have set roster or does it change?
Usually Monday to Thursday 8:00-6:00
What is the most important thing you have learned while working in medicine?
Listen to the patient and let them talk – 95% of the diagnosis is in the history (what the patient tells you)
If you could work as a doctor anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Tuscany (preferably without the working bit)
What's the hardest part of being a doctor in the modern tech filled world? What's the best part?
I don’t think there’s too much of a downside – sure Dr Google can cause all sorts of worries about unlikely/rare/impossible diagnoses, but this is more than offset by the wealth of information at our fingertips and the incredible imaging etc that we now have access to.
Do you have any hobbies or special interests outside of work?
I’m a beekeeper, cyclist, dabble in photography and help look after my daughter’s unicorns.
Visit South America
Desert island 3 books?
How to stay alive – Bear Grylls ; could be handy
The Gormenghast trilogy – Mervyn Peake; fun fantastical gothic escapism
War and Peace – Tolstoy; never read, good page count
Best part of your job?
Diagnosing a serious disease in time that we can make a difference.
Worst part of your job?
Paperwork – predictable but true
“Some people feel the rain, others just get wet” Bob Dylan
Are you more a hunter or gatherer?
I have a veggie patch and beehives and operate a “catch and release” policy for cockroaches at home so I guess that makes me a gatherer.
What’s your favourite ’90s jam?
What are your areas of interest in medicine, and why?
HIV – one of my first jobs was on an HIV/TB ward in east London in 1991. Looked after a lot of young/middle aged gay men and African women who were not only suffering terribly but being stigmatized at the same time. Thankfully we now have excellent treatments and society’s attitudes have moved on, at least to a degree.
Kidney Disease – never understood it as a medical student so made conscious effort to master it and ended up being involved in writing East London GP guidelines.
What’s the last thing you watched on TV and why did you choose to watch it?
England v Sweden. Because being an England football fan makes you believe, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that your team might actually win a major tournament. By the time this is published I expect to be once more licking the wounds of what might have been. Or maybe not...
Who would win a fight between Spiderman and Batman?
Batman – brains and money will always triumph over creepy crawlies
If you could only choose one song to play every time you walked into a room for the rest of your life, what would it be?
“Five Years”by David Bowie – first track of his that I consciously heard, been a fan ever since.
Alternatively, as this seems a sure fire way of turning the song into your most hated song, I’ll go for “Let it go” from Frozen as already found its place having been on a constant loop in our car a couple of years ago.