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The first year of general practice has opened my eyes

This month, I have quietly celebrated two anniversaries as a doctor. The first is the one year anniversary of becoming a NQGP. 

My first year as a GP had been scary, busy, enlightening and cathartic. I am no longer a trainee, although unofficially I’m probably a junior GP (experience-wise rather than in age).

But I have a good acute and medical base from my training, and I’m very glad I trained in paediatrics for a bit. The locum jobs I’ve done have been so varied, but now I’m in my second locum role covering another doctor’s maternity leave.

In fact, I have just accepted a salaried post in a lovely small practice close to home. It will be great to work near where I live. But I still need to learn how to deal better with the handful of emotionally-draining, high maintenance, demanding patients registered at my new practice.

This month also marks ten years since I graduated from my medical school, Warwick, which in 2004 when I joined was only one of two fledgling graduate medical schools (the other being St George’s in London). We were a small ragtag group of slightly-older to definitely-older university graduates who all wanted to be doctors, but either didn’t get in the first time around or made the decision to train later in life.

We hoped to have a reunion but getting a small group of doctors, partners and their kids in one place on one day for a reunion is not easy. It’s even harder when contact emails are ten years old – thank god for social medial and one belligerent/stupid doctor (me) who has decided to take on the grand task of tracking down the current email addresses of our cohort (in which task I have achieved 79% success) to reschedule it. 

But right now, I’m just looking forward to a 10-day holiday abroad and getting to know my patients gradually in my new salaried post.

Dr Avradeep Chakrabarti is a GP locum, living and working in Bristol.