Stephen Foulks qualified as a GP in January 2016. He chose to be a GP because he enjoyed having a generalist background and wanted to get a flavour for all the different avenues in medicine without having to specialise in any particular one.
After completing his CSA exams, Foulks was approached by Prospect Health with the opportunity to work at Idle Medical Centre, which offered him the perfect environment to grow and flourish as a GP.
1. Use an agency that understands your requirements
"You don’t realise how much time it’s going to take looking for a job", Foulks tells Prospect Health. For him, using an agency meant he did not have to "shoot in the dark". Having someone else willing to do the legwork for him meant he could focus on two or three of the most relevant jobs. "I was really impressed with Jason at Prospect Health - his rigour and the degree of detail he went into was exceptional and he asked loads of things I did not think of considering as preferences. He helped me be a bit more mindful of the things that I wanted."
2. Pick the right location
Think about the location of the practices you’re applying for. On the one hand you want a practice that is in a reasonable commutable distance from your home, however, you also need to make sure the practice is not on your doorstep as you need to separate your professional and personal life to some extent. You may also want to consider the demographics of the area you’ll be working in.
3. Find out who you will be working with
The people you will be working with is one of the most important things to consider. Who are the doctors, the management team and the team of people you would be working with? "The partners are really important", asserts Foulks, "You want to be able to take their ethos and work with them to shape the direction of the practice and what it stands for."
4. Decide how you want to work
Ask yourself how and where you want to work. Do you want to work full-time or part-time? How much flexibility do you need? Different practices offer different levels of flexible working and on-call systems. Decide what’s best for you so you can be matched with the most appropriate practice.
5. Be honest with yourself
Work out what motivates you and what you’re interested in so you can find a practice that shares your ideas. "If you’re trying to fit into an organisation and you’re not a natural fit, it’s always going to be a struggle", Foulks tells Prospect Health, "And you don’t want to be doing that at the same time as having the clinical commitments of a salaried GP job."