I graduated from Imperial College many years ago and went straight into GP training in South London.
After qualifying as a GP, I pursued an interest in medical education: becoming a GP appraiser, an MRCGP preparation course tutor for the London faculties of the RCGP and an examiner for the Royal College of Physicians, London (for their Diploma in Geriatric Medicine).
I further developed my skill set in medical education by taking up consecutive posts in three different universities: firstly as a GP teaching fellow, then as a lecturer in family medicine and finally as an assistant professor in family medicine. Five years of this period was in full time medical education, and this was when I started writing and publishing in peer reviewed journals.
The next five year phase of my career took me away from education into regulation. I became a GP Tutor for the London Deanery, supporting appraisal leads across South London. I then became an appraisal lead in Croydon and Lambeth, before spending 3 years as an appraisal lead for Westminster. In this latter 3 year period, I also became a medical adviser for NHS London, carrying out performance investigations into GPs. I stepped down from these roles in 2017 to focus on my own project: self- help for GPs.
I currently work around 4-5 sessions a week as a GP, as well as carrying lots of appraisals. In addition to this I write and speak about the questions that we need to start answering as a profession:
- Are our current GP training goals too aspirational for today’s context?
- Have we become more patient centred than we can afford to be when there is so much workload and stress?
- Do the traditional consultation models and the CSA suffice GPs working on the shop floor today?
- Do the traditional characteristics of career GPs predispose to burnout now?
- Do we need a new definition of what a ‘good’ GP is in the 21st century?
I hope that Better Doctor will be part of our profession’s journey to answering these key questions.