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Get fell in as a Territorial Army medical officer

Dr Andrew Dearden answers the

Pulse careers questionnaire

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

I always liked the range of subjects learned in med school and felt general practice would allow me to do a bit of everything!

Also I'm not very good at being bossed around, so liked the self-employed status of general practice.

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

Perhaps a lawyer ­ I quite see myself as 'Dearden of the Bailey'. If not, a ruthless captain of industry or the city. I did think about a career in the diplomatic service but they said I didn't have the aptitude or some such thing.

Who's your career role model/guru?

I don't think I actually have one of these, I tend to pick up 'bits' from those I come into contact with.

What's your career high-point so far?

Being elected chair of GPC Wales. But the Yes vote on the new contract comes a very close second.

And the low-point?

Black Wednesday and the few weeks following in terms of recent years. But having a little cystic fibrosis patient pass away when I worked in paediatrics has been the most emotionally draining and personally challenging. It was the only time I asked myself if I could do this job.

Anything interesting on your surgery/office wall?

I collect fossils and ancient Egyptian amulets, so have a few of these in my office. Also one or two model sailing boats, which has grown into quite a collection due to patients buying me little ones when they go overseas! I now have several boats, lighthouses, etc

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

I'm not a current 'who'. But if I ever became one I would list wife, daughters, spending time and shopping with above, eating out, classical cars, ancient Egyptian amulets.

What's your fantasy career move?

The chief 'secret customer', testing out new theme parks and rides with responsibility for only warm and sunny countries. It would have to be really good pay, all expenses covered, best hotels only to be tested, must be accompanied by family to gain whole family perspective.

Must include need to test other local attractions to establish overall theme park location score eg beaches, shopping centres, watersports, restaurants, etc. It must also offer at least 10 weeks holiday ­ no point in settling for less than I have now!

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