Career Stories - Dr Ben Burville
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Dr Ben Burville

GP trainer and appraiser, ALS instructor, special interest in child and adolescent medicine, diabetic care and minor operations.
Northumberland

I wasn't always a GP!

As a child I enjoyed science, space, microscopes and nature. My parents were always supportive and helped fuel my inquisitive mind, but they knew I was also restless.

It probably came as no surprise to them when I told them I'd like to study marine biology at university so I could scuba dive with a purpose. One thing led to another and before I knew it I had a degree in Oceanography & Biology from Southampton University, had worked with dolphins and had somehow ended up in the army reserves.

The lure of foreign travel and adventure took me on a journey that involved 2 tours of Bosnia.

Seeking a meaningful lifelong career (much to the relief of my Mum and Dad!) I found myself selling my motorbike and starting a medical degree at Sheffield University. I was lucky and studying came easily after years of structured working days.

The next challenge was selecting which medical pathway to pursue.

By the time I reached 5th year I had narrowed it down to 3 options: General Practice, Anaesthetics or Emergency medicine.

I enjoyed them all but a frank discussion with some very honest A&E consultants refined the choice to GP or Anaesthetics.

I secured training posts in both but GP was my first choice and I have never looked back.

I love my job. I am always learning.

I trained as a GP Trainer and GP Appraiser. As I write this I am still a ALS instructor, although I do not plan to renew this as there are simply too many other demands on my time now.

I work full time (8 sessions/week) in a coastal Northumberland practice.

I am very fortunate to have a very supportive wife and two beautiful children.

When I am not at work as a GP I keep fit, I enjoy diving and film wildlife underwater.

I have worked with the BBC, ITV, Sky and others filming UK marine life, mainly seals and dolphin.

I've managed to maintain the interest in marine biology and have a unpaid Visiting Researcher post at Newcastle University studying white beaked dolphin and grey seals.

A career in General Practice has huge variety and although it can be stressful at times I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone considering a career in medicine.

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