Career Stories - Dr Ahmed Al-Dahiri

Dr Ahmed Al-Dahiri

A GP Partner and trainer, Southport Merseyside

Being a GP is wonderful and I mean it. It’s not just about the satisfaction one gets from the job, the continuity of care provided to patients or the variety of patients’ presentations seen. It’s about a lot more - the privilege of being called ‘my doctor’.

It’s about situations that are rarely encountered in other medical specialties….

An elderly patient admitted to the hospital with sepsis, being gravely unwell and shouting on the ward ‘please call my doctor, he will know what’s wrong with me.’

Getting a polite request from the family of a dying patient in the hospice requesting to see you and thank you before she dies.

Coming across a patient who works on the cash till who you’re trying to avoid to save embarrassment, only to hear her call saying to everyone around ‘this is my doctor… he helped me’.

An air hostess who approaches you on board a flight to announce to all those surrounding ‘this is my mum’s doctor, he saved her life’.

Receiving thank you cards from families of deceased patients thanking you for the care and for being there.

Being invited to attend a couple’s diamond wedding anniversary celebration and thanking you for looking after them.

Receiving post cards from your patients who are on holiday.

It’s about coming across a young boy on the tennis court who announces to his friends ‘this is my doctor, he got rid of my verruca’.

Before I became a GP, I trained in orthopaedics, I loved it and still do. However, even the thrill of orthopaedics wasn’t enough and I decided to do something different. When I told the consultant I worked with that I was moving to general practice, he stared at me, turned round and walked away without saying a word. Today and after a decade of general practice, my only regret is not going into general practice earlier.

I once dealt with a motorcyclist who had multiple trauma. We spent long hours in theatre fixing his many fractures. He spent weeks on intensive care and then more weeks on the ward recovering. He was finally discharged home to be followed up in outpatients after 6 weeks. When I saw him, I applauded his good and continued recovery. He responded ‘I have a wonderful GP!’ At that time, I disliked the thought of the GP who took credit for all the hard work. Now I understand what he meant and appreciate the relationship that patient had with his GP.

If my experience interests you, if you are passionate about becoming ‘a doctor’ and if you are looking for genuine fun, excitement and enjoyment then come to general practice. There are many opportunities alongside the usual work to further develop specialist skills and become a GP with specialist interests in many specialities like dermatology, psychiatry, musculo-skeletal medicine, ENT, ophthalmology, diabetes, neurology and many more.