Dr Murad Khan, GP in Yorkshire.
Previously an A&E and Cardiology doctor
I have been asked to share my medical journey. When I say a journey, it has been an adventure…
A bit about me first I am 38. I finished my general practice vocational training scheme (GPVTS) in August 2017 and now work as a salaried GP with special interest cardiology and out of hours (OOH) as GP lead at an urgent care center - all in a single week. I make time to help my local CCG develop the healthy hearts programme too.
So how did I get here? Simply by being stubborn and not being afraid to press the re-start button when I felt that my career was getting a bit too cluttered!
I started work in the UK as an A&E doctor then CMT eyeing specialty training in cardiology when the trouble with the Medical Training Application Service (MTAS) hit. This meant I ended up becoming a non-training grade in cardiology loved my job, gained valuable experience, became an integral part of the team, but the irony was that the more ‘valuable’ I became the more distant I got from any prospect of any progression. So after 8 years as cardiology middle grade I went to the ‘dark side’ and became a GP trainee!
It wasn’t an easy decision, contemplated for 12 months as the thought of going back to being an ST1 was not ideal but I took the plunge just the way you have to do in a cold pool on holiday abroad just because you have paid for the holiday!
The GPVTS training was a breath of fresh air. I found it very welcoming, non-judgmental and forward thinking. I could think for myself and dare I say dream which most people reading this will know is almost impossible within a rigid hospital management-controlled system. I feel I developed personally, learnt new skills and got rid of many old bad habits.
The thing that worked for me was focusing on areas I wanted to develop so I formed a clear plan of what I wanted to do, got the exams out of the way ASAP and then planned for life. I managed to complete my Diploma in cardiology and MSc during GPVTS, so by the time I finished training I was ready to launch myself into a variety of career possibilities. The luxury of options was something very new to me. I had choice over how many days I wanted to work, where I wanted to work, and include special interest sessions.
Don’t get me wrong being a GP has its challenges. The number of patients you have to see is more than any specialty. But if like me, you like talking, sorry ‘listening’(if any trainers are reading this), I relish being able to make a difference at grass roots level and cherish having the unique privilege of being part of my patients lives in good health and at times of sorrow - then I suggest you take the plunge and you too will find that the pool will get warm for you soon!