Viewpoint: Why I'm Choosing General Practice: Homesh Ramkhelawon

Contrary to popular belief, a GP's job is quite challenging and exciting. I love the contact with a wide range of patients, ranging from crying babies with otitis media, to the 25-year-old athlete with a meniscal tear, to the elderly lady with heart failure.

Homesh Ramkhelawon: 'Being a GP provides me with a good work-life balance.'
Homesh Ramkhelawon: 'Being a GP provides me with a good work-life balance.'

General practice is the only specialty which will allow me to achieve this. Treating various patients with different diseases from one minute to the next excites me and keeps me on top of my broad knowledge and skills. Moreover, I enjoy the challenge of seeing a patient with a completed management plan in 7-10 minutes.

Working as a GP is very satisfying. I will know my patients very well and build a long term relation with them. Seeing the same patient for different health issues provides continuity of their care and personal satisfaction, especially if they are progressing. I believe it is really important to know how our interventions make a difference to the patients’ lives. As a GP, I will explore my patients’ fears and attempt to relieve their anxieties.

I embrace the general practice world of being independent and in control

The role of GPs in the NHS has fascinated me as a new concept to me as an international student. The skills required in recognising the sicker patients and referring them to the appropriate specialties in secondary care are aspects that I consider impressive.

Being placed in hospitals, I felt that after treating and their patients, hospital doctors ignore what happens to them, especially in acute settings. For instance, how will the admitting doctors know Mr Bloggs’ health status six months after his percutaneous coronary intervention? However, Mr Bloggs would be likely to visit his GP for further advice or about a different health problem.

Besides the patients, I also prefer the work environment of general practice: It is relatively small, but friendly and cosy. I prefer to work in a smaller team where I get acquainted with the members very easily, compared with hospitals with ever-changing teams. Having regular meetings with partners and salaried GPs also enhances the relationship. Furthermore, I embrace the general practice world of being independent and in control, while still working for the NHS. I would have the opportunity to be active in managing the practice and implement new schemes or changes for patient betterment. Balancing the doctor’s duties and managerial skills is something I look forward to.

General practice also allows for some more practical procedures which I like from time to time: most GPs would do minor suturing for wounds occasionally. GP training also accounts for special interests such as paediatrics and emergency medicine which particularly interest me.

Being a GP provides me with a good work-life balance. Away from the night shifts or busy on calls, General practice is very appealing as I can dedicate time for my family and friends. This allows better job satisfaction and fulfilment, while managing a range of patients with a close-knit team in a friendly environment.

  • Homesh is a student at Newcastle University

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