Naming a new business can be a challenge. Ideally, it should be catchy and original- and it’s helpful if it tells the public what you actually do!
As names go, Dr Sicknote is probably as straightforward as it gets: we are doctors, we provide sick notes! To some people, we know it may seem a rather cheeky name- but we are proud of it- and here’s why:
For many generations there has been a large divide between patients and doctors- with the doctor “set apart” from the patient. Most of us have seen this in action first-hand. As a medical student I certainly did. I remember ward rounds with professors who pompously talked down to their patients. A sick person, whose body is failing them in one way or another is already very vulnerable- and the system would often strip them further of control-reducing them to little more than a disease sitting in a bed. Too often the patient was not kept informed with regard to their diagnosis and treatment. The power was all on one side of the equation. Thankfully, things have improved quite a lot- medical training has come a long way, and doctors are taught to communicate more openly. However, we all know the “system” can still fail to be user-friendly.
Dr Sicknote was set up by a group of GPs who work in suburban Melbourne – and our goal is to make healthcare less complicated for patients, in whatever way we can. At present, we give people more choice in how they access a medical certificate. If common sense tells someone they have, for example, a migraine, a head cold or viral diarrhoea, we believe it is perfectly reasonable and logical that their judgement should be respected –and they should be able to get a medical certificate without queuing up in a surgery. An online assessment by a GP can ensure that there are no worrying symptoms, and the person can get their sick note without leaving home.
Of course, this is only one small service. In time, we hope to “uncomplicate” other areas of healthcare. We believe that there are many services that can be provided in a simpler way for patients. With advances in technology, there is now a real opportunity to restore more and more control back to the person who has the illness- giving them more choice in how they access the advice and treatment they need.
So, whilst Dr Sicknote will perhaps seem a cheeky name to some people, really, it’s just refreshingly open and honest. And that, we believe, is progress worth celebrating.