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At the heart of general practice since 1960

GPs' anger over PCT decommissioning

Professor Steve Field answers the Pulse careers questionnaire

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

I have wanted to be a GP since my school days. I had a little wobble when I was about 14 when I became absorbed in the James Herriott vet books, but I was allowed to do some work experience in a vet's surgery and in general practice ­ that experience reinforced my desire to be a doctor. My first 11 years of life were spent in a very deprived area of the Black Country and I feel driven to give something back and contribute to addressing the inequalities that don't seem to have improved much over the years.

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

Centre-half for West Bromwich Albion was the desire since winning the FA cup in 1968.

Who's your career role model/guru?

My GP as a child. Dr Edward Thomas was my role model for many years and I still remember discussions with him about being a family doctor, but there are others like Dr Julian Tudor Hart for his commitment and values, Dr Donald Irvine for his commitment and professionalism and more recently Dr David Haslam and Professor Dame Lesley Southgate for advice and leadership

What's your career high-point so far?

I think becoming postgraduate dean, having been advised not to apply because they needed a specialist and felt that a GP couldn't do the job!

And the low-point?

There are many, but probably being an SHO in obstetrics, which has given me a drive to change the lot of junior doctors and is probably why, despite all of the aggro, I continue on my journey to try to improve medical education.

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

Failed football and tennis player, ex-long distance walker, father of two wonderful twin girls, Alice and Helen.

What's your fantasy career move?

Centre-half for West Bromwich Albion! I had the chance to play against their old boys once alongside Bobby Moore, Alan Ball and Terry Neill ­ that was a fantasy that I still have on video ­ and what a goal!

Professor Steve Field is regional postgraduate dean, West Midlands deanery, and a GP in Birmingham

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