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At the heart of general practice since 1960

We're not at war over enhanced services ­ yet

Dr Gillian Braunold answers the Pulse careers questionnaire

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

I have always wanted to be a doctor. It was the desire to be the person with whom the buck stopped responsibility-wise, combined with medicine, that inspired me. I didn't know anything about general practice really when, after house jobs, I saw an ad for a GP trainee for a year in Borehamwood. I became John Marks' trainee and found a love of people

and their stories that has lasted ever since. The longitudinal relationship I share with my patients is always the touchstone for me in

all I do.

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

I think I might have started out in law because advocacy is actually what I spend a lot of time doing now, whether on behalf of patients or the profession.

Who's your career role model/guru?

Dr Judy Gilley was a role model for me. I always wanted to succeed as a woman in medicopolitics on the issues and not because I was a woman. Judy succeeded as a negotiator despite being a woman and I have always had a high regard for how she has been able to clarify and summarise complex issues succinctly without missing any of the key elements. She also demonstrated personal values that I have always admired.

What's your career high-point so far?

I think the high point for me was May 15, 2003 at the end of the vote at the Special Conference of LMCs which was the culmination of months of work engaging doctors on the issues in the 'Taking Control Campaign'.

And the low point?

The glib answer to this would be May 16, 2003 when the six months were reduced to two weeks. However, the effects of having successfully retained the registered lists principle and the prevalence issues have been extremely important and I don't believe that the registered lists would have been retained as a funding principle without the campaign.

Anything interesting on your surgery/office wall?

I have a copy of Picasso's Guernica his painting of the Spanish civil war behind my desk, which my father had in his office until he retired. It has proved a very interesting talking point for the children, in particular in my part of Kilburn. I find it fascinating how many of them are interested in it and have 'done it in art'. I use the horses in agony to demonstrate the spectrum of pain to minimise their discomfort during preschool boosters.

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

I think it has to be keeping up with my cyber networks!!

What's your fantasy career move?

I would find it totally different to write travel books reviewing holiday destinations.

Dr Gillian Braunold is a GP in Kilburn and joint national clinical lead for general practice

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