I am gutted to have missed the RCGP Annual Conference in Harrogate this year. Although, the exponential rise of social media channels (namely Twitter) meant that I managed to get a play-by-play of what was going on there as it happened. I’m also chuffed to say that a poster I was part of creating, entitled ‘Starting a student Primary Care Society: How we made GPSOC a roaring success’, was even presented at the conference.
Yet, just one day before the conference was due to take place, GPs came under fire and made the headlines once again. I woke up on Thursday 3 October to Dr Clare Gerada’s ever eloquent response to the call for seven-day access to GPs on BBC Breakfast. (In all fairness, it’s not just GPs that have to put up with a lot of stick, it’s the entire National Health Service.) It would be difficult to deny the fact that the NHS and its so-called ‘inadequacies’ are highlighted in our newspapers and on our television screens daily.
The truth is that the average medical student appears to be blissfully ignorant about the impact of the current political situation on our future careers. Of course, there are a passionate few students who join the BMA and other medico-political societies in a bid to have their say on changes affecting medical students. Others might think that it’s better to breeze through medical school without the added stress of making sense of political debate.
Personally, I think that we’d all be better off knowing more about what we’re in for. Maybe I’m calling for medical students to take more of an interest in these topics. Maybe it’s the role of the medical schools to start introducing information about NHS reforms and medical management as part of the curriculum. Really, I can only speak for myself, but I’d like to have a little more insight so that I’m ready for the number of challenges that I am likely to have to face.
Let me know your thoughts by tweeting me at @NextGenerationGP.
Chantal Cox-George will blog from the perspective of a medical student interested in general practice. Use the hashtag #nextgenerationGP to join in the conversation and follow her @NextgenGP