You couldn’t make it up, even if you wanted to. The GMC have revealed themselves on the front cover of their turgid publication GMCtoday – as faceless men in black. One of them even seems to have some sort of word salad going on in his head.
GMCtoday is the kind of publication best reserved for a long haul on the porcelain throne. The current issue, which arrived today, contains, for example, such gripping news items as “93% and rising” (over 93% of doctors have responded to the GMC’s licensing campaign) which somewhat misses the real story – what’s happened, and going to happen, to the seven percent who haven’t responded?
Other gems on the same page include “ISA urges doctors to register” (savings account urges a doctor to register?) and “All new and improved!” (expect the GMC website – already dire enough – to crash when it is re-launched later this month).
Meanwhile, the design features natty little arrow graphics, presumably intended to suggest GMCtoday is going somewhere (oh no, it’s not) and a selection of screengrabs from their website (presumably so save royalty fees for stock photos)
It even has its own titillation page, only in GMCtoday it is not on page three, and it does not feature Sam Fox. Instead, it contains a lurid account of how the GMC managed to shaft some miscreant who has broken the rules. In the current issue, a trainee had made up her own assessments. Is that really such a crime: after, most of these assessments Dr No has seen appear made up, whoever writes them?
The back cover has “Dr to Dr” which sounds as though it might just be interesting, but it turns out to be the classifieds with a motley collection of rubbish that failed to sell on eBay (“Journals: Eye News 2005-2009”) along with a number of dodgy sounding rental propositions (“Lapland: Log Cabin: sleeps 6+2”).
There’s even a crossword with such testing clues as 8 Down: Congenital absence of a mouth (7) and 19 Down: Congenital absence of one or both nipples (7). Presumably, whoever sets the crossword thinks that such patients are common fare in the practice of those who read GMCtoday. Or maybe they’ve been staring at the front cover of GMCtoday for too long.
But it is in the features that GMCtoday really pulls out the stops to produce its own brand of terminally impenetrable prose. Try this, from a feature about Tomorrow’s Daleks:
“With the formal consultation having concluded in March, the new guidance was launched this September. Among the key changes from the 2003 edition, the outcomes for students are contextualised as relating to ‘the doctor as a scholar and a scientist’, ‘the doctor as a practitioner’ and ‘the doctor as a professional’.”
Who produces this drivel? It turns out an outfit called Creation Design & Marketing Ltd, who’s less than inspiring “Vision Statement” is “To inspire everyone with our dedication and passion for creativity. Of their GMCtoday work, they say “When the need arises, we are given the opportunity to come up with design ideas with very few constraints. In this example we took the existing GMC newsletter and improved the look and feel in every area, to show what could be done. The final visuals were used in XGS presentations for generating new business.”
Nice work if you can get it. I wonder how much it costs?