Is GP right for me – am I right for GP?
You’ve got this far. How do you explore the world of GP and try it on for size? It’s not so easy if your GP placement was years ago - if at all! By now you may have more questions than answers.
You can always ask another doctor (we can help you arrange that) or get a broader perspective by searching for thoughts and views online. Facebook has many doctor forums and groups (including Choose GP.) Follow organisations on Twitter, RCGP, BMJ, BMA, or see what specific GPs are working on in your area. Reach out and get in touch.
GPs are specialists in primary care. Remember as a doctor or consultant (yes many switch to GP training) you already have valuable skills and experience.
The choices you need to make can be overwhelming. If you’re one of the thousands who are not quite sure and considering several options, you may be thinking about what aspects of medicine you enjoy the most. As you start to research and narrow down your specialty choices, you can begin to focus on the reality of training.
For those of you who’ve come across the term portfolio career, it doesn’t mean you have to decide which interests you want to pursue, whether you work in a clinical or non-clinical setting or how you’ll develop as a GP, from day one. In fact, if you think of your career spanning 40 years or so, you’re more likely to be looking for something sustainable - a role you can adapt, continue to learn and flex according to your lifestyle. The path you take is more likely to be shaped by those who have inspired you or a chance conversation with like-minded professionals. There’s ample opportunity to gain extra qualifications.
By the way. We’re absolutely not going to tell you choosing a career in primary care is going to be a bed of roses. Being a doctor is almost always a demanding job. The pressure on GPs can be intense but it does mean there's lots of opportunity for innovation.
Let’s not forget the effects of the coronovirus pandemic. Yes, images of very sick people laying in hospital ICUs for weeks will stick in our minds. GPs adapted patient consultations almost overnight and are now delivering care and planning for a multitude of long-term effects that could last for years. Its these doctors leading multi-disciplinary teams that patients will turn to. The hub at the heart of every community. Where trust, knowledge and secrets are shared, diagnoses are sought advice, education, support and treatment, freely given.
Think along the lines of pursuing what you enjoy most, what gives you a buzz? What challenges would you like tackle? How will you make a difference - as a GP?
Taking the next step
If you want to pin down some of the detail, probably almost everything you need to know about the application process is likely to be on this website. Applicant guidance, recruitment timeline and area maps with local options are a good place to start.
Talk to newly qualified or experienced GPs, trainees and trainers in your area with similar interests and ask them directly. E-mail Daryl and the team firstname.lastname@example.org to help you find connections.
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