Viewpoint: Why I'm Choosing General Practice: Joe Ting

As a medical student, I find it daunting to be asked: 'What would you like to specialise in when you qualify?'

Joe Ting: 'Not knowing what the next patient is coming for is something that I would love to take on.'
Joe Ting: 'Not knowing what the next patient is coming for is something that I would love to take on.'

There are sectors that I do have a keen interest in, but being in the infancy of my training phase with barely any clinical experience and exposure, it would be premature to give a definite answer. I decided to pursue medicine because I had always been interested in improving people's lives. Furthermore, I regard medicine as a very diverse subject. It would be difficult to choose a particular department.

However, I feel that being a GP exposes me to a wide variety of cases and not limit the profile of patients I would be able to help. These include cases from paediatric cases to geriatric ones and even take on psychiatric cases as well as addressing preventive health issues. The challenge of not knowing what the next patient is coming for is something that I would love to take on. It is unpredictable, yet constant.

I personally feel that a medical service with a personal touch can make a person's day

I find great meaning to work in primary care as it allows me to sieve out the right/emergency cases and refer them for specialist services. This will enable appropriate use of the healthcare system without over-burdening it. Furthermore, as the first point of contact for patients, I would be able to know them better and form personal relationship with them. I personally feel that a medical service with a personal touch can make a person's day. Furthermore, I like to understand the patient's concerns and expectations and be able to either reassurance them or seek proper treatment for them. Going for home visits, being in the community and working with people are things that I find meaningful about the medical profession.

Lastly, as a family-oriented person, I am drawn to the idea of a GP practice as a family-friendly environment to serve the needs of all ages.

  • Joe is a student at Kings College London

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