Saturday, 27 December 2014

Part Time GP/ Part Time Athlete

James Tullie is a GPST3 on the Caledonian Program.  He kindly wrote an article on his aspiration to compete for Britain in the World Orienteering Championships taking place around Inverness in August 2015.   Here is an update on his life as a part time GPST / part time athlete.

"I started ST3 in August 2014 in Grantown-on-Spey, towards the north end of the Spey valley. That's when I started working part time at 50% in a bid to achieve my ambitions in sport at the same time. I am trying to make the British team for the World Orienteering Championships in August 2015 which is based in Inverness. A once in a lifetime chance and too good to pass up. Many of the top athletes work part time or are even full time athletes and while working full time in medicine, it's difficult to compete. I am grateful for the big (friendly!) bosses in the North of Scotland Deanary for giving me this opportunity!

Since I started in August things have generally been great. I've had the time to train more than I ever have and also factor in things like sitting the AKT along the way. I've also found that I feel even "fresher" for the GP work so I'm probably enjoying work more too. I'll give an example of an average week which might give a flavour for anyone who's interested.
  • Monday - work 0820-1800. 30min run followed by 1hr gym session in the evening
  • Tuesday - work 2-3hrs in the morning. Timings vary. Afternoon interval training. Evening orienteering training
  • Wednesday - work 0820-1800 - Evening run around 45mins-1hr followed by 1hr body balance gym class (not just for middle aged ladies!)
  • Thursday - off work. Variable training. Usually one long run ~2 hrs or hill reps + 1hr run
  • Friday - long run or orienteering or long cycle.
  • Saturday - Orienteering training or race or long run
  • Sunday - Orienteering training or race or long run

Throw in to this the occasional OOH session and some weeks I'll work Thursdays or Fridays to provide cover in the practice and I'll get time off in lieu. 

Even working part time, over the past few months the work has been varied and interesting. I've had some challenging sessions as duty doctor, in particular having to attend an unplanned home delivery which was a bit unexpected, but thankfully all went well! Then going from this to a home visit involving end of life care. At times I've been out negotiating the snow and ice just to add a bit of extra challenge. All proper rural GP stuff!

In January I am off to Tasmania for 2 weeks to compete in some World Cup races which kicks off the season in style and is quite an exciting propect! Who knows what will follow, but I'd like to think whether I'm successful or not the year will be fullfillig.....and hopefully I'll be a good GP in the process (and pass my CSA!!)

If you're itnerested in orienteering then check out the World Champs website -

James Tullie"

So whilst we cannot guarantee to make your dreams and aspirations come true, we will, where we can, help as much as we can! So why not come and join us in the North of Scotland in August 2015 and you can see how James gets on.

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