Lucinda Appiah describes the long road to becoming a GP, and why work experience is key for any budding doctors.
What is your current job title?
I’ve been a general practitioner for three years and a medical doctor for eight years.
What does your job entail on a day-to-day basis?
Taking a clinical history and examining patients; diagnosing conditions; requesting investigations, interpreting results, liaising with other healthcare professionals in primary and secondary care.; prescribing medication; treating acute and chronic health conditions and signposting and directing patients to the appropriate agencies when required.
How did you get involved in your current industry?
I studied biology, maths and chemistry for my A levels and then attended medical school for 6 years. After gaining my medical degree, I completed two years as a foundation doctor and decided to specialise in general practice (which entails three years of training). After completing my general practice training, I worked for surgeries in Reading and London.
What was your first ever job and did you enjoy it?
Delivering newspapers at the age of 13. It was interesting – I’m just grateful I could ride a bike. Always wear a helmet!
If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you want to be doing career-wise?
Good question – maybe accounting, clinical research or pharmaceutical medicine.
If you could give one piece of advice to a young person who wants to work in your industry, what would it be?
Secure work experience in a variety of settings (primary and secondary care) to gain insight before making your decision. If you are not sure, take a gap year. Be open to working abroad as a medical doctor, and do your research early on how to transfer to work abroad.