The reality of General Practice
General practice is a huge part of medicine and can get overlooked, especially by television/media image of what it is to be a doctor – the stereotype, constantly running to crash calls and saving lives 24/7. But in reality there is so much more to the job than the ‘drama’. You really connect with and make a positive difference in your patients lives – nowhere more so that in general practice, here you see patients and their families over time, build up a rapport and truly understand their lives.
Hi I’m Alice, 5th year student and I have just finished my general practice placement. There were 2 main things I took from the placement:
- GPs work very hard! This attracts highly motivated, caring people. The attitude
of the GPs I was working with was great – It was so evident in everything they did that they were always willing to go the extra mile for their patients and they really knew and loved the community they worked in. This was reciprocated by the patients who were clearly very happy with their care and appreciated their GPs. This combination creates a friendly team-working environment.
- Nowhere in medical school so far has problem solving/ diagnostic thinking been so important. GPs have to recognise everything, be able to differentiate and treat all kinds of conditions without the immediate aid of tests or scans. If you like that kind of puzzle you’ll find GP both challenging and rewarding.
Opportunity for Sixth-Form students
There is a great opportunity for 6th form students to find out more about general practice and medicine as a career! The information below is taken from the East Midlands NHS website:
Health Education East Midlands are making it possible for Year 12 students (in sixth form) to do 3- to 5- day placements (work experience), to discover the reality of modern day general practice. The placements are currently restricted to Nottinghamshire, but it is hoped, that over the next 12 months, we will be able to extend these placements across the East Midlands.
The placements will ensure that you have first hand experience of all clinical and teaching activities in the practice. Many of these practices train nursing and medical students, foundation doctors and future general practitioners who will be able to give you first hand career advice.
- Aged 17 or less
- Have intentions of embarking on a career in the health care professions
- Have a recommendation from the school / college or 6th Form tutor
- Able to comply with the practice code of conduct
I really recommend looking into all aspects of Medicine if you’re considering it as a career. Get as much work experience as you can so you really understand the job and look well informed when applying and at interview!