Retraining as a GP - Dr Hatim Abdulhussein
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Dr Hatim Abdulhussein

GPST3 London. Clinical Fellow AI and Robotics, Clinical Lead of DART-Ed Programme

 I’m really enjoying GP training – especially my time in primary care and the innovative training posts, with a mix of GP and hospital clinics in respiratory, rheumatology and musculoskeletal medicine. I’ve learnt so much along the way, as well as building a network of fantastic and inspiring colleagues. The flexibility that GP training allows has given me the opportunity to develop further skills in health policy, academia and leadership, and even at this point in training I’m finding more opportunities to widen my skillset, both clinically and non-clinically.

As well as being a GP trainee I’m also a senior lecturer at Brunel University London, where I teach on the physician associate MSc and help design and develop curriculum content for the medical school. I’m a clinical fellow at Health Education England (HEE) in AI and robotics, where I provide clinical leadership to a national programme looking at emerging technologies and their impact on the future of education and training of healthcare professionals.

Important to note that it has taken time and commitment to develop my portfolio. Training doesn’t have to be a race, and taking time out either out of programme, or going less than full time has been an enabler. In addition, finding mentors and learning from them has been game changing. I’ve made sure I prioritise clinical work, but using self-directed or non-clinical time effectively, and incorporating interests and passions to improve healthcare as a driver, is the best way forward.

Everything I do outside my clinical time helps to make me a better clinician. My work in education keeps me up to date with current guidelines and best practice. It allows me to continue to refresh my knowledge and so useful when preparing for exams! My leadership roles teach me skills in negotiation, compassion, and system transformation, keeping me rooted in improving patient care as my primary focus. This helps me to always look at how quality improvement can be achieved wherever I work in training and I’m able to demonstrate these skills in my portfolio. 

I think how AI and robotics will affect general practice going forward is the most surprising aspect that generally doctors don’t yet realise. The horizon scanning work I have been leading within my HEE role demonstrates how artificial intelligence will impact the general practice workforce significantly, particularly in diagnostics and population health. I hope this will largely be in a positive way, taking away administration burden, improving patient pathways and supporting clinical decision making. On the other hand, we need to be careful that we don’t get overconfident in the technology as that could lead to de-skilling, and we need to be able to appropriately critically evaluate data driven technology to ensure it is being used safely and effectively to improve care. We’re going to need champions to help patients understand the tech and how it is used, to help prevent digital exclusion, so there’s plenty of opportunity if you want to join us in general practice. Robotics is currently largely used in surgery, and as GP’s its good for us to have some understanding in case patients have questions around it. I also see a big role for robotics in hospital at home and care home type services in the future.

I’m due to complete my training in 2022. I would like to build a longitudinal relationship with a patient group over a period of time, as I believe this is the heart of general practice and be able to pursue some leadership opportunities within a locality. I appreciate the flexibility and want to continue to develop my portfolio of interests around academia, policy, and digital health. At this stage I’m very much keeping my options open but I’m certain whatever comes next will be as challenging as it is exciting.

 

Useful information

The Health Foundation – Switched on. How do we get the best out of automation and AI in health care? https://www.health.org.uk/publications/reports/switched-on

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  • Email gprecruitment@hee.nhs.uk if you would like to request contact from a GP who can help you understand more about the job.

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