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Professor Roger Jones answers the Pulse careers questionnaire

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

I grew up in the Forest of Dean ­ John Berger's

A Fortunate Man country ­ and wanted to be a vet. My father had other ideas.

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

Apart from being a vet? I nearly switched to English at Oxford, so goodness knows where that would have led. I had a brief spell of success as a pavement artist, and was a terrible double glazing salesman.

Who's your career role model/guru?

My GP trainer in Andover, the late Roger Edmonds, and my first academic boss, Professor John Bain, at Southampton, were both enormously influential. I don't think that many of my heroes would have much time for academic medicine today.

What's your career high-point so far?

The publication of the Oxford Textbook of Primary Medical Care and then being awarded the RCGP George Abercrombie prize for contributing to the literature of general practice.

And the low-point?

A miserable time at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, which was nobody's fault but where I felt like a fish out of water.

Anything interesting on your surgery/office wall?

A big Robert Rauschenberg print, a poster of Sir Ian McKellen as Richard III and some original Lisa Long photographic prints of Bob Dylan in Los Angeles in 1967.

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

I enjoy travelling to new places and like combining professional and leisure travel. I love playing golf even though I'm not very good, and every summer I disappear for a while to the guaranteed sunshine of a farmhouse outside Ronda in southern Spain.

What's your fantasy career move?

Writing a couple of lucrative columns each week from the Andalucian finca.

Professor Roger Jones is Wolfson professor of general practice at Guy's, King's and St Thomas' School of Medicine, London

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