Those who follow the UK medical blogosphere will already be well aware of the curious case of Dr Una Coales, the Korean Missile currently disguised as a locum GP. A prolific, out-spoken, self-promoting and self-publishing writer, with ambitions to become the RCGP’s next president (small fry, given that she is already, according to her twitter page, ‘Conservative Health Secretary’), she has brought a world of fury upon her shoulders for – allegedly – shopping the identity of a person or persons unknown as the real Dr Rant, late of the blogosphere, to the police – or perhaps the GMC, or even both. Within hours, other bloggers started going out, like bulbs on a set of Christmas tree lights. A better known Heat Seeking Missile has weighed in heavily, and told us in no uncertain terms that it is our own stupid, indolent fault that our lights are going out. Her comments as of now lie, steaming like elephant dung roadblocks, at the bitter end of more than one post on the matter. No doubt a similar steamer will be dumped here before too long.
The case’s curiousness stems from two related factors. The first is the amount of steam that has already been generated, given how little we really know. The turtle’s head of (mis?)information first appeared on a doctors-only forum, DNUK, and all too soon a long rancid coil of a post uncurled itself, a coil maybe fresh on the nose, but bulked more by bran than berries of truth. Dr No has studied its steaming length, and is none-the-wiser, in any certain sense. Were he Ray Mears, he wouldn’t even be sure which animal, or animals, it came from.
Then we have comments on Dr Zorro’s post – flounces of faux-outrage, and, in one, the curious but absolute certainty that a certain anonymous commenter was in full possession of the facts:
“Oh Suddenly doctors net is the oracle of truth. I know both Dr Coales and Dr Rant and I can promise you Dr Coales has not reported Dr rant or any contributer to Dr Rant for anything written on Dr Rant. I know this for a fact.”
This curious anonymous comment doesn’t just tell us Dr Coales is innocent of the alleged assault of free speech, it promises us that it is so, and adds, for the further avoidance of doubt, ‘I know this for a fact’.
But another contradictory and curious fact is that we know Dr Coales did report two male NHS doctors to the police for cyber bullying. Even more curiously, the statement has disappeared from her website, and google’s full cache, but as of yesterday evening a snippet was still visible (see image above, full size image here) in which she says:
“With the support of the Met Police, I have reported 2 male NHS doctors for ‘a history of repeat cyberbullying and making nasty personal derogatory and offensive comments about doctor colleagues.’ The detective sergeant has confirmed today…”
Now, we do not know whether those ‘2 male NHS doctors’ had anything to do with Dr Rant – they may have done, in which case the anonymous commenter on Dr Z’s blog was barking out of his or her backside. Or maybe they don’t, in which case, the commenter may (or may not) have been right, and we are left with the uncomfortable possibility that Dr Coales may (or may not) make a habit of shopping doctors (mostly males, one supposes) whose behaviours she disapproves of to the police (and/or the GMC – we just don’t know).
Dr No, for one, were he a GP, would not be sure whether he would want such a zealous authoritarian – who is curiously stridently anti-revalidation – presiding over his college. But that is neither here nor there. What is, is the other curious thing about the Coales that burnt in the night: why did she burn that section from her post? It was definitely there five days ago: and now it is not.