Why did you choose to be a GP?
I didn’t come to my decision straight away to become a GP. I did a placement in general practice and really enjoyed it. I like the continuity with the patients, I like the variety and you actually really feel like you’re part of a team, which is really nice.
Where in the UK were you based when undertaking your GP training?
I was on the Exeter Exmouth peninsular, on the coast, it was amazing. I’m now in Bradford as I’ve relocated to be with my husband.
What were your biggest challenges whilst training to be a GP?
I was thinking about this recently and actually just getting through ST3 is such a busy year. You’ve got exams that are really expensive and the pressure to pass is really high; it’s roughly £2,000 for the exams which you’re paying for yourself, so it’s an expensive year and you’ve got all your portfolio to keep on top of. If you fail you have to re-sit the exams and pay for everything again… it’s an expensive year to fail.
With work and studying, looking for a GP job really wasn’t a priority. I think I first got in touch with Prospect Health early in the year, maybe February time. Jason was so professional and brilliant – it wasn’t just about getting me the interview; Jason’s follow up was great; making sure I was happy, following up afterwards to see if there was anything I wanted him to discuss on my behalf, I just felt really supported.
How did you find out about Prospect Health and the opportunity to work at Leyland Medical Practice?
Jason had given me the lowdown on a few different practices, maybe four in total. He thought Leyland was probably the most suitable and it did tick the most boxes for me. It had training opportunities which was important to me so he arranged an informal chat with the practice manager and they seemed really nice and gave me a good idea of what the team was like.
Was going through an agency useful when looking for a job after qualifying?
It’s hard anyway as a new GP and especially having moved to a completely new area I was quite aware that I would need a bit more support than say if I was just moving within the local area. I didn’t know anyone here so referrals, patient population – it’s all different and I knew I would need support to get settled.
What made you make the move to Leyland Medical Practice?
At that point I didn’t really know exactly where I’d be living so Jason gave me a flavour of what was available and when I knew my postcode he then looked further into that area for me.
He asked me what I was looking for and to be honest I was looking for a training practice, the team – teamwork was really important to me, so a really cohesive team and a supportive practice and one with further training opportunities was what I was looking for.
It’s an amazing practice, brilliant team, really friendly, everything that you’d want.
What did you think about the service you received from Prospect health?
I think the service from Prospect Health and Jason was second to none – it didn’t cost me anything and it’s helped me a lot.
It literally made my move so easy. It just took a huge worry away from me because Jason literally did all the work. I did nothing really, he did everything, he found me the perfect job, I have nothing but thanks for him.
What do you love about your new job?
It was really nice to be given an induction period with less patients per clinic when I started my new job. I had a mentor as well just to help guide me through. Everyone is really approachable, if you’ve got any problems you can speak to anyone. There’s a regular team meeting on Thursdays; all the doctors get together with the practice manager and head receptionist so things like that make my role feel great.
What have been the key areas that you’ve enjoyed & contributed towards since starting with Leyland?
It’s still early days so I’m still getting to grips with the role and the day-to-day workload. But I would like to specialise in something and Leyland are really keen to support that.
Are there any bits of advice you would give other soon to qualify GPs about finding a job once you qualify?
Speaking to the practice manager for me was ideal, I was facing a five-hour drive from Exeter to Bradford so it would’ve been hard for me to just pop and visit the practice but I would definitely say try and visit the practice informally so that you can get a feel for what they’re like.
For me the other really important thing was the spread of the sessions. Because home was five hours away and I was busy working seven sessions, I ideally wanted a day off either side of the weekend and they were able to accommodate that which was really good.
A practice that will support you with your training is also key, I think.
What do you think about locuming after qualifying, do you think it is a good idea? Why did you not choose to locum?
I did for a little bit in Exeter, Devon. I did have a few regular sessions at the training practice I was at first which was really nice. And then I did a few other sessions here and there.
I wouldn’t have done it permanently; I found it quite hard to be in one place just for a morning to be able to follow things up and I like to follow up and see what the outcomes are. Follow up from a learning point of view is important to me for my progression and I also quite like familiarity.
What key changes do you envisage will occur in primary care over the next couple of years?
I think primary care is getting busier and potentially will be unsustainable. I’m really lucky where I am because the work load is really sustainable but I know other places where GPs are getting burnt out; I read a study somewhere saying that quite a few GPs are probably going to quit in the next five years. I think recruitment and retaining GPs is going to be an issue for practices.
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