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At the heart of general practice since 1960

CV: Professor Justin Allen

Professor Justin Allen talks us through his career so far

Professor Justin Allen talks us through his career so far

What/who made you decide to go into general practice?

I joined a GP in my home town for two weeks as a student elective ­ this was all we were allowed in those days. Until that moment I had determined on a career in orthopaedics.

What would you have done if you hadn't been a doctor?

I have always had a hankering for the sea and would have joined the Navy.

Who's your career role model/guru?

I have worked with a number senior figures in the profession who have encouraged me to develop my career in general practice education. These include those who had the misfortune to train me. In recent years I have come to know Dr John Horder, a former president of the RCGP, who continues to be active in European general practice, and has encouraged my interest in European GP teaching.

What's your career high-point so far?

Being elected as president of EURACT, the European Academy of Teachers in General Practice, in 2001.

And the low-point?

Being arrested by airport police in Brazil for not having a visa (which their embassy said I did not need) while on my way to an international meeting on primary care.

Anything interesting on your surgery/office wall?

A cover illustration for a children's book painted by one of my patients, given to me by her mother. The girl was killed in a road accident; I knew the family for the whole of my working life.

What leisure interests do you/would you list on your Who's Who entry?

Sailing.

What's your fantasy career move?

Being in a position of authority that would allow me to stop the ceaseless round of reorganisations that plagues us. I would ban any new health care reform for five years.

What's your greatest mistake in your career so far?

Starting work too soon! I should have studied the humanities first and had a gap year or 10. I am now planning my gap years!

Professor Justin Allen is general practice postgraduate dean for Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland Healthcare Workforce Deanery

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