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IMG Doctor in the UK | Should I Go into General Practice? | Trewlink Webinar Part 2

Being an IMG Doctor in the UK and then the answer to Why choose GP training. Maybe you're thinking Should I go into General Practice? Or you want to know what I think of general practice as a career. Completely unfiltered and honest opinion, hopefully I won't get in trouble with the RCGP! Join us in this super fun and interactive Trewlink Webinar! (Part 2)

1. A day in the life of a GP

Depending on where you come from, you might not actually know what a GP does and that is certainly true for some of my polish patients. In Poland, you have a skin complaint, you go to a dermatologist, you need contraception – you see a gynaecologist. That’s because private healthcare in Poland is very cheap. In the UK, private healthcare if VERY expensive – and so most people speak to their GP first – so a GP in the UK is your first port of call for any medical issue. And GPs have very specialised general knowledge and we know how many to manage a multitude of general conditions up to a certain point and you might not actually need to see a specialist. E.g. eczema. I am contracted for 8 sessions and 6 of those are clinical and two admin and I will explain what that means – QIP, audit, special interests.

2. Pros and Cons of being a GP

There are a lot of politically correct answer to what the pros of being a GP are. Most people will say they like the variety – newborn, kids, adults, older adults, palliative care – but also the variety in terms of specialties – derm, gynae, ENT, general medicine. They will say they also like continuity of care, so getting to know patients and their families. And I like both of those things. But the thing I love most about being a GP is being my own boss and the boss of my own time and sessions. Being able to manage patients on my own without constantly having to touch base with others, having that real ownership and responsibility when it comes to your patients health. And when I have done all of my consults within that session – I’m free. I can have a 30 mins lunch break – I can have a 2 hour lunch break. I was once learning how to play golf, obviously, I’m a GP, so I would routinely go to a driving range in between my sessions. Or I was training for the great north swim – again, hit the gym in my lunch break, jacuzzi sauna and come back and finish my afternoon session.

In terms of the cons – some of my junior doctor colleagues didn’t go into GP because they just felt they needed more of a safety net in terms of managing patients. So in hospital you write up a prescription of paracetamol – that will be checked by a hospital pharmacist, then a nurse, then the night team, then the consultant on the ward round – so people struggle without having that safetynet. I personally don’t because I know my guidelines and I always double check things myself anyway.

3. Things I wish I'd known when I applied for/started my GP training

In general, I’m really happy with my training and my trainer was excellent, really fantastic and so I have little regrets. But if I was to really look hard - this will go back to TIP number 3 – choose where you want to live first and then choose the job. I was allocated a training post at Preston and Chorley 1h to 1.5 hour away each eay – not the most glamorous part of England – but I was in a rush – just all of us – so I took it, just to get over it as fast as possible, but sometimes I wonder what things would be like if I waited 1 year, improved my CV and tried again and tried to get somewher closer to home.

4. Where to go if you are not feeling supported at your GP practice/surgery

Firstly, you will have a line manager, the person that hired you, they might be able to help. Secondly, colleagues and friends. Thirdly, your GP – honestly we can help especially if you prefer not to speak to someone at work. Lastly NHS practitioner health is a great resource.


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