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‘I am very lucky to have this opportunity’

GP registrar Dr Jennifer Stannett shares her plans for a gap year after training.

As I approach the end of my GP registrar year, I have decided to take a year off from medicine to travel the world.

After many years of exams and learning, I feel that this break from the world of medicine is well earned.

It's been a long journey getting to this point. From starting out as a biomedical science undergraduate 13 years ago, I have progressed through to general practice after initially training in paediatrics.

I have finally found a specialty that I love and look forward to working in for the rest of my career. However, before I embark on this lifelong career I have decided to experience my other love…

I feel that I am very lucky to have this opportunity. I know in other professions these opportunities are not as easy and I hope to come back with a very positive experience that I can share with others.

I am starting my travels in South America where I hope to sample the delights that this continent has to offer. I've also been learning Spanish to help me along the way.

Although it's a chance to experience something different from medicine, I do intend to keep my brain active whilst away. I plan on writing about my experiences and visiting local health clinics where possible, to learn more about different health practices around the world.

I continue my trip around the world via Australia and South East Asia, before finishing with an overland trip through Africa.

On returning next year, I hope to do locum GP work whilst applying for permanent posts. If the job market remains bleak, perhaps this will also encourage others to follow in my footsteps.

I will update you on my return.

Dr Jennifer Stannett is a GP Registrar in East Finchley, London

Dr Jennifer Stannett