Viewpoint: Why I'm Choosing General Practice: Laura Horne

As a third year medical student, I look towards my future career with uncertainty. When I tell this to my friends who are studying biology or history at university, they look at me with a puzzled expression and ask: 'How an Earth can you be uncertain? ...You're going to be a doctor!'

Laura Horne: 'My responsibility would be to work with the patient to determine their healthcare needs.'
Laura Horne: 'My responsibility would be to work with the patient to determine their healthcare needs.'

They are correct! I am going to be a doctor but this role gives very little description of what I will actually be doing. The problem I have found in selecting ‘what type of doctor’ I want to be is that I find myself enjoying everything that medicine has to offer. Every inch of the human body fascinates me from reproduction to haemopoiesis. I am astounded by how each organ functions in such an intricate and flawlessly designed way and I’m even more passionate about learning how we can aim to return to this normality when abnormalities arise.

If I decide to become a cardiologist, I can’t pursue my interest in neurology and if I become a neurologist, well what about respiratory medicine?! If I become a paediatrician, I will miss treating adults, a geriatrician I will miss treating the young. This continuous internal debate has lead me to a conclusion, I am simply too greedy when it comes to knowledge! I want to know something about everything. This is my first reason for wanting to be a GP. GP training offers the opportunity to explore most fields of medicine and the specific area of medicine I explore each day will be determined by the needs of my patients - the people who matter the most.

My responsibility would be to work with the patient to determine their healthcare needs

This leads me on to my second reason for wanting to become a GP. In all specialities of medicine, practice is around the care of the patient. This forms the basis of practice for all doctors. However, it seems that general practice gives the opportunity to practice this core principle to perfection. As a GP my responsibility would be to work with the patient to determine their healthcare needs from a holistic approach. Primary care physicians have a privileged opportunity to develop long-term trusting relationships with their patients and consequent of this are in a position to offer an incredible amount of support which can change people’s lives whether this is psychosocial or management of chronic disease or medications.

...Why wouldn’t I want to be a GP?!

  • Laura is a third year student at Liverpool University

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