Chichester doctor Dr Matt Burkes was a resounding hit with colleagues this year. ‘Tireless’, one colleague said. ‘I once interrupted his surgery to be told he was taking a walk around a nearby field with a patient who was suffering from depression – to reduce medicalisation and introduce a more therapeutic “air”. A shining example of how we should all be.’
Dr Burkes’ highlight of the year came when he received a copy of his published book, The Good GP Training Guide, which he had co-edited over four years with fellow GP Alec Logan.
‘Holding the physical copy for the first time was an amazing feeling. It’s not written like a “normal” medical book – its style is positive, immediate, irreverent, and it contains those nuggets of vital information that aren’t in guidelines – the ones you only get from time spent doing the job.’
Dr Burkes says he has had great feedback about the book, saying it was ‘most gratifying to receive comments from trainees who are finding it helpful, because that’s what it was always for’.
Dr Burkes says he has a passion for writing and educating less experienced doctors, and he also spent time this year contributing to the fourth edition of the Oxford Handbook of General Practice, as well as writing clinical CPD for Pulse.
Outside of his practice, Dr Burkes has worked for the British Horseracing Authority, Glorious Goodwood festival and the Rugby Football Union – and says he had to turn down work at the Rugby World Cup. He has also made time to found a free school in Chichester.
Next year he hopes to tour the collection of linocuts and clinical vignettes featured in the The Good GP Training Guide, named ‘Red Roses’ after a story by the late, much-missed Professor Helen Lester. He’s also three months into a 10-man leadership training programme, which he hopes to complete next year, and will leave salaried practice to join a partnership next July.