Viewpoint: Why I'm Choosing General Practice: Jessica Roscoe

As a fourth year medical student, many of my peers are currently discussing future placements and potential careers. Some want to go into surgery, others are focusing on hospital-based specialties, and a few are considering an academic career. Myself, I want a career that encompasses it all.

Jessica Roscoe: 'To follow a patient throughout their life ‘from the cradle to the grave’ is a gift.'
Jessica Roscoe: 'To follow a patient throughout their life ‘from the cradle to the grave’ is a gift.'

I’ve always been drawn to medicine, but never a particular organ system or disease process. I find the entire body fascinating, the mind too, and I could never spend my entire career concentrating on just a single part of it. I want the excitement of going to work in the morning and being surprised by whatever walks in the door.

A day in the life of a GP could include appointments with a one-week-old baby, or a 101-year-old, and anyone in between regarding any medical problem you can think of. How many careers are there where you can help an entire spectrum of different people? Not only within the setting of a GP surgery, but also out in the community in a patient's own environment.

Following a patient from cradle to grave is a gift

Choosing general practice will give me the unique opportunity to appreciate the impact that poor health has on an individual. From depression to cancer, from skin defects to congenital malformations, a GP sees it all and can appreciate the long term impact of such difficulties - on both an individual and a family.

To follow a patient throughout their life ‘from the cradle to the grave’ is a gift. GPs have the responsibility to recognise struggles and to know when it is best to ask, and when it is best to listen. A challenging career that is undoubtedly highly rewarding and offers the potential to incorporate a special interest such as minor surgery or research. The way I see it, general practice is a whole range of opportunities, each with great potential, all rolled up into the career pathway that is right for me.

* Jessica is a student at Nottingham University. To enter GP's Choosing General Practice essay-writing competition to win £100 John Lewis vouchers email neil.durham@haymarket.com. The best entries will be published on GPonline.

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