Zara Aziz: Why I chose to be a GP, not a dentist

'What do you think I should be when I grow up?' asks Twin 1 while I root around in the kitchen for something nutritious to cook for supper (that all three children will eat happily).

'Is this a trick question to check if I'm happy in my job, and therefore recommending it to all of humankind?' I ask warily.

As if I would. When I was growing up, I had a great wish to emulate my dad and become a lawyer. But my dad was always at pains to point out that in his opinion, lawyers were villainous and untrustworthy, and I should aim to follow an honest profession.

When I was fitted with some braces, I thought, why not become a dentist? But much later, when I attended for work experience at the local dental hospital, my hands shook terribly as I crookedly drilled a filling, and the esteemed professor said I just didn't have what it took (whatever that was) to be a great specialist of the oral cavity.

At that point, I decided that I would become a GP. After all, my great-grandfather had been a surgeon and needed someone to follow in his footsteps. It is a bonus that in general practice, there is little contact with the oral cavity, and even the most villainous of villains are usually nice to their GP.

'No, I have to draw a picture of what I want to be and I really want to be like Steve Backshall, except that he's really hard to draw. I've drawn some animals, though,' replied Twin 1.

I peer down at the drawings and see a lean meerkat and a toothy crocodile, both looking rather chummy and wearing shoes that look suspiciously like ballet pumps.

'Why did you want to be a GP, did you want to heal the sick?' Twin 2 asks interestedly.

'Something like that,' I reply.

'And are you glad?' asks Twin 2.

'Of course I am. It's just hard work like lots of other jobs. I'd rather be a GP than wrestle alligators like Steve Backshall - or dance on Strictly.'

'Although I could do without some of the villains in suits who keep interfering with the NHS,' I add for good measure.

'Now, come on, let's see if we can draw Steve!'

  • Dr Aziz is a GP partner in north-east Bristol.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

First-dose COVID-19 vaccine supply for GP sites to stop completely for a fortnight

First-dose COVID-19 vaccine supply for GP sites to stop completely for a fortnight

Supplies of COVID-19 vaccine for first-dose vaccinations at GP-led vaccination sites...

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK are playing a leading role in the largest-ever NHS vaccination...

More than 70% of COVID-19 jabs this month have been second doses

More than 70% of COVID-19 jabs this month have been second doses

More than seven in 10 COVID-19 jabs administered UK-wide since the start of April...

Accountant's theft of more than £60,000 from GP practices uncovered in pandemic

Accountant's theft of more than £60,000 from GP practices uncovered in pandemic

An accountant has been handed a suspended jail term after stealing more than £60,000...

GMC to contact thousands of GPs due to revalidate from August

GMC to contact thousands of GPs due to revalidate from August

The GMC is writing to thousands of doctors due to revalidate from August to set out...

NHS England spells out next steps as GPs told to cancel AZ jabs booked for under-30s

NHS England spells out next steps as GPs told to cancel AZ jabs booked for under-30s

GP-led vaccination sites should offer under-30s due to receive a first dose of AstraZeneca...