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A day in the life of a salaried GP: Dr Cara Slane

Dr Cara Slane, a salaried GP at Malago Surgery in Bristol, tells us about her role and offers her career tips for aspiring GPs.

Dr Cara Slane: 'I enjoy making things better for patients and feel like I'm doing something useful'.
Dr Cara Slane: 'I enjoy making things better for patients and feel like I'm doing something useful'.

Tell us about a typical day in your role

I arrive at around 8:30am, grab a coffee and have a chat with everyone. I then log-in, see what my day looks like and check my emails. I then start seeing patients until around 12 noon. I see 15 patients per session plus three phone calls. In my day I see a variety of people coming through the door. I also trouble-shoot anything that other members of the team have difficulty with, from either advanced nurse practitioners or GP registrars.

At the end of morning surgery there is admin to do, and I might be covering for people - checking blood results and prescriptions. After this there’s a lunch break for about 30 minutes. We’re really lucky at my practice to still have time for a lunch break and to socialise with each other, as well as catching up on safeguarding issues and any patients anyone is struggling with. I will very rarely have a home visit to do, about once a week, because we employ a paramedic who does the majority of these. Sometimes there will be a team meeting over lunchtime as well.

What is the best bit about your day?

I love working with our team. Everyone meets up after surgery and has a chat about how the morning has gone. Our pharmacist, 2 ANPs and nurses are there as well, and we check we are doing the right thing with patients and everyone is happy! I like covering with people and helping ANPs with patients because I enjoy working with people.

What is the biggest challenge?

Where I work is quite socially deprived. There are a lot of drugs, alcohol, methadone and blue scripts. People present quite late with illness and disease, and patients have a lot of co-morbidities. On top of this, managing their social problems can be quite challenging. I enjoy making things better for them and feel like I’m doing something useful.

What made you decide to become a salaried GP?

I like getting to know patients and getting to know whole families, rather than locuming in different places all the time. Continuity of care is important to me, as is being in part of a team and seeing the same people each day.

Who have been your greatest mentors along the way?

My ST3 mentor was Dr David Capehorn. He’s a GP with a Special Interest (GPwSI) in paediatrics. He was always drumming into me the simple approach to help people, like helping them to change their lifestyle and lose weight, rather than just throwing tablets at them.

What top tips would you offer to other aspiring GPs?

You need to be organised in your day and efficient. Being confident is important, don’t be afraid to be decisive. You can always bring people back into the surgery, so don’t worry about trying to sort everything out in one go. Take your time with things and bring people back in regularly if you’re in any doubt.

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