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What made you want to be a doctor?
That's a complete mystery to me! I was in 6th form at school and the advice I had from my careers advisor was to sit down in the library and look through the card index of jobs, there were about three hundred of them. I chose two, a doctor and an electronics engineer. So I applied to three medical schools and two electronic engineering places at other universities, I had offers for electronics and only one offer for medicine so I chose it, a simple choice really.
Why did you choose your specialty?
I really enjoyed my attachments to GP practices whilst still a medical student. The sense of freedom in general practice was in stark contrast to regimented hierarchy I found in hospital practice. I enjoyed all my speciality attachments but I kept drifting back to general practice.
What’s the most interesting thing about your speciality/job?
The variety of general practice is truly amazing. You really don't know what the next patient will bring into the consultation.
What has been your best moment in medicine?
My student elective at a mission hospital in South Africa where, as a 4th year medical student I assisted a lone junior doctor remove an extra dural haematoma on a child that had a head injury. We had a neurosurgical book propped up on the anaesthetic machine as we performed the operation. I was the anaesthetist. The patient survived.
And your worst?
Having to deliver a seventeen week foetus on the gynae ward as an SHO and watching her die in her mothers arms.
What advice would you give prospective doctors?
- Never lose touch with the life work balance.
- Never stop asking for advice
- Never lie to a patient
What’s been your favourite doc2doc discussion of all time?
What do you do when you are not being a doctor?
I enjoy running. I've done almost a dozen half marathons (the last was the Great North Run this month) and I did the London Marathon in 2011. I'm a petrol head. I enjoy track days when I can drive my Westfield Sportscar around Rockingham Speedway, my two sons share the driving. On sunny days the 911 gets out as well! I've recently started writing again, a pastime I used to enjoy but never found the time for, until now!