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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Locum for hire - the hunt for my first role as a newly-qualified GP

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That’s it – I’ve done it! After much procrastination over the last few weeks, last night I finally sent out a slew of emails with my CV attached to several GP practices near my home.

The CSA now feels like a distant but dreaded memory to me now. Since passing the exam (phew!), I have been slogging away trying to complete that other behemoth that is the GPST e-portfolio to prepare it for my upcoming ARCP (annual review of competence progression) after which, if all is well, I will be finally signed off and will almost be a GP proper. By the end of July, my three years as a GPST trainee ends. I am both excited and anxious at this prospect.

My plan is to locum initially and ideally near where I live, because I have grown weary of my one hour drive to work every day and want to work closer to home, just to maintain my sanity. Although I have lived in Bristol for nearly three years, I have never worked there and need to get to know the city a bit better, especially choosing a suitable practice, where I may work for the rest of my working life.

Just like when I was preparing for my exams, I have a habit of procrastinating. Post-CSA, I was focused on my e-portfolio and went on holiday and knew I had to sort out my CV, but I just kept deferring it.

I felt anxious about selling myself in a CV, especially as I had not written one since 2007. I got my fiancée (who is neither a medic or nurse) to read it, and she said it was terrible - too wordy and busy. It was a harsh, but fair comment. I set about re-writing my CV and thinking about what a practice might want to see and learning how to sell myself. Then I got my trainer and every other doctor and practice manager to read it and finetune it.

Once I’d done my CV, I started thing about my ‘terms and conditions’- something I’d never thought about before - and asked colleagues and friends about what they did. After researching further, I’ve decided to write my own - ‘so you won’t get shafted’, as one locum put it.

Finally I researched all the practices within five miles of home to see where I might like to work and emailed the relevant practice managers after ringing them a few days before.

Now I must wait and see whether I am actually employable. If I manage to get some offers, then starts the countdown to starting work in a new practice, near home. And so the start of my life as a GP proper begins.

Dr Avradeep Chakrabarti is a GPST3 training in Swindon, living in Bristol.

Readers' comments (8)

  • Go to Australia where you can practice ALL your skills without pointless interference/obstruction and, despite higher taxes, earn twice as much in the process.

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  • Another lamb to the slaughter !!!

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  • Right folks the bets are now open.How many years are you going give these chumps?10,..15 perhaps?......

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  • Good luck Dr Chakrabarti, I hope you are able to find work where you want it. Remember though you will soon be a freshly minted GP this does not make you attractive as a locum with many practices wanting locums they already know or at least a bit of experience. Perhaps your net needs to be a bit wider to ensure an income to match your new defence subs.

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  • Congratulations on passing the CSA. Now the real work starts! We are in central Bristol and could offer you work for August if you are interested. Google Seymour Medical Practice.

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  • Well done, I know the feel of CSA behind you now. With your fresh ' communication skill ' the local GP surgeries near home will fighting over your service. You may also wants to consider locum agencies.

    Do not forget the perfomer's list, You need to join one and they may need Criminal checks etc.

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  • Vinci Ho

    May the force be with you , young Padawan . The learning never stops wherever you are . You might be 'stunned' by all these negative comments about general practice these days . The government is always going against medical professions as long as NHS still survives . It is fair to say both hospital and primary care practitioners are all under intense pressure . But this should not change the fundamentally decent nature of being a doctor , hence GP in your case. I always say GP is the 'people's doctor '.
    Choose your option( sounds like you already made up your mind where to settle) carefully and balance advantages against disadvantagesl .
    Sorry to be lecturing you . This is what old dogs do. Live long and prosper.......

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  • Not an unexpected array of answers.

    What with burnout, change in pensions, superannuation, paying for indemnity and battling through the locum wasteland, I aware of some of the pressures a new (junior) GP has to deal with.

    I shall miss the camaraderie of my GP tutorials and hope to not get too lonely out there. But I'll make sure I keep tabs on the GP world by reading Pulse and other similar medical publications.

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