British general practitioners (GPs) make many more visits to patients in their homes than do their American counter-parts—during the day, at the weekend, and at night.1 We soon learn that the act of placing a plate of food on our dining tables triggers, telekinetically, a telephone call from a patient. Other reliable psychic stimuli include going to the lavatory, placing one foot into a warm bath (it doesn't matter which foot), and getting into bed with one's beloved before midnight. For me, the most reliable stimulus of all is sitting down in front of my television to watch "Hill Street Blues." For this reason alone I have often come close to wasting money on a video recorder.
It is a condition of National Health Service general practice that the GP agrees to visit the patient at home if so requested. provided that in his or her opinion the request