A day in a life of a General Practitioner (GP)

A student member of the Young Professionals Society spent a day at the Haughton Thornley Medical Centre in Hyde, Greater Manchester to gain some practical insights into what work a GP does on a day-to-day basis at the surgery. The sixth form student (not named on request) attending a local Grammar school in Trafford shadowed Dr Amir Hannan (a senior GP) for the day. The student is currently doing A’ levels and aims to study Medicine at a Russel Group University and ultimately become a successful practicing medical doctor. This opportunity initiated from the recent webinar given by Dr Amir Hannan for YPS on “Everything you would want to know about being a GP”, which the student attended virtually and actively participated in the Q&A session.

The student said:

Through this opportunity I was able to gain a deeper insight into the roles and responsibilities of a GP and what the job involves. Due to COVID-19, most of the consultations occurred via telephone with me consented to listen so I silently observed the communications and interactions between the doctor and patients. However, I was lucky enough to observe two patients in person, one of which was a baby, and this made me understand why GPs can never be replaced by Artificial Intelligence because the emotional bond between a doctor and their patients can never be replicated by robots or machines.

I also witnessed how Dr Hannan not only sympathised but also empathised with his patients who came from all walks of life so that they could receive the best care and support possible. Some of the patients were very sceptical about having the COVID vaccine, however, Dr Hannan provided assurances and gave good advice which put the patients at ease. The experience enabled me to better understand the important qualities that a good GP must possess. For example, problem solving is a key skill that allows a doctor to piece together the information that they have obtained to form an accurate diagnosis and initiate treatment through a shared decision making process and encourage patients to use online services. I was also able to realise that a friendly, considerate approach must always be adopted because some of the patients were quite hesitant and reserved so needed constant reassurance so that they could open up to their doctor whilst remaining calm.

I realised a GP’s job is not a typical 9-5pm job and it surely may be stressful, however, the great satisfaction from the job is when you do your duties and in doing so improve the quality of life and lifetime of many patients, which truly is rewarding and priceless. Upon asking Dr Hannan how he maintains a work life balance, he mentioned the importance of regular exercise, healthy eating and education being important in improving oneself as well as improving your mood and happiness levels. So I now know that adopting relaxation techniques is vital in enabling a stable, healthy mindset and body.

Dr Hannan said “It is vital students wanting a career in medicine get an opportunity to see what the work is like to help them to decide if this will be their chosen career. Many sacrifices will have to be made, much hard work over many years before you complete your training and with the explosion of knowledge, it is important to continually keep yourself up to date, stay inquisitive and hone your skills at listening as well as communicating and sharing. I wish the student every success in the future as we work together to help make the world a better place for all. I would like to thank YPS for the opportunity for young people like her to gain vital knowledge and experience to help them decide their future career”

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Posted by ypsociety