Dr Junaid Tipu
Sessional and out of hours, Midlands and London
It’s the same train journey for me every month. I pack my little suitcase and carry something interesting to read along the journey. I pick the same lunch from the same shop at London’s Euston station, before further embarking upon the remnant journey into the South East. For the next four evenings, I would be working for the Out of Hours service, taking some interesting telephone and face to face consultations and often overnight being driven to remote villages and exciting demographics - occasionally different in terms of health needs to where I usually work in the Midlands as a regular daytime sessional GP. I am quite fond of house visits in the Out of Hours setting. One often comes across the best of human mannerism when trying to provide clinical care in the middle of the night. Recently a hundred years young gentleman was talking to me at 3am about his days in the military and the ‘big war’, after I had consulted him for localised cellulitis. And yet the very next night I was welcomed at a house by a young mother and a very hypoxic child, with low oxygen saturation and laboured breathing. Within ten minutes of walking into the house, I had managed to put her on high flow Oxygen, nebulised her, taken all critical clinical details and had arranged for an ambulance. My driver had helped off course and so had the child’s mother, by remaining calm and holding the child in her own bed next to her toys. The train journey back to the Midlands would provide ample time to reflect on clinical and human learning later.
Once I get back to my regular daytime work, which I undertake over three and a half days each week, I feel recharged and energised. Daytime appointments run for ten minutes each and I find myself quickly getting back into the ‘day mode’. Here I consult with patients who I have mostly got to know better with time. I feel better equipped in understanding their acute, sub-acute and chronic health needs, and that too in a holistic sense. Moreover I feel I have the flexibility of time to co-ordinate their care, dealing with different clinical issues at different appointments, and communicating with specialist colleagues on behalf of my patients where needed. I have developed an interest in musculoskeletal medicine which I am keenly working on.
Life as a GP is rewarding. I am spending my energy and capability to its full capacity at work, whilst being able to enjoy the work life balance that I always strived for. I have found the flexibility of work pattern fit into my life style well. I have taken to regular running, hiking and walking. History reading has finally made its way into my life and I am now beginning to pick short breaks from work to travel to places that I always wanted to.