Mansi, a GP in London who came back to practice after having children
After I completed my training, I worked as a salaried GP in London for about three years. I got pregnant in 2009 and had two children quite close together and ended up being at home with them for close to six years overall. When they entered school, I decided to get back into work.
I researched the Induction and Refresher scheme as I didn’t know how difficult it would be to get back into practice. I was glad there was a pathway allowing GPs a way of returning to practice. Two years before I wanted to start working, I contacted the local HEE office (London Deanery at the time) and filled in the application form. The local office asked me when I would like to start my placement, so I decided to delay doing my exams so that come September when my youngest started school, I would start the placement. It was a decision completely based on family and to fit in with my children, but the local office was brilliant about it, they just said whenever you’re ready, just let us know. There was no pressure to get on with it before I was ready.
I’m halfway through my placement now – and it’s going very well. I’m working at a partnership practice in Hendon in North London on a part time basis, four mornings a week over a period of six months. Working part time works very well for me as it fits around my family. The practice has been willing to adjust my working hours around school drop off and pick up times, meaning I don’t have to organise any childcare.
My supervisor is very good and really approachable. It’s lovely to be in a scheme rather than just being ‘out there’ as it gives you the right to ask without anyone feeling you are being a nuisance, or to be slow – all the things you that you are because you haven’t worked for a while. General practice has changed and it’s nice having someone who is not responsible for you but is there to support you. The practice has been very good at helping me to get up to speed; they’ve been happy to take their time at helping me to get my knowledge back up. I started on 30 minute appointments, have now moved up to 15 minutes and next will work up to usual 10 minutes. I’m happy with the amount of work I have and the number of consultations I’m doing as part of my placement - it’s a good work life balance.
I’m really enjoying doing the scheme – it is a lovely, gradual introduction back into GP and it’s worked out really well for me. After I’ve finished, my aim is to do a part time salaried GP job, supplemented by some locum work. I’d like to do a similar number of sessions to what I am now during term time and less during the summer holidays.
I didn’t realise how much I missed being a GP until I started doing it again. It’s really lovely being back here and seeing patients. I love being a GP - it’s the one on one interaction, you really get to know your patients; you see the mother, the grandmother, the child. It’s about very much getting to know the family and helping them. And most importantly, it allows you to work but also be at home and spend lots of time with your family if that’s what is important to you.