Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Which Specialty Will You Choose?

Deciding what area of medicine to spend your life in is not easy.  Harriet Aneke-Ogbu has been kind enough to share her experiences and explain why she has chosen to apply for GP Specialty Training this year.

"Whilst at medical school, I always wondered what a suitable career would be for me. At the time, I did not really understand the challenges with choosing a specialty and commitment to it. I believed all I had to do was find an area in medicine that intrigued me and kept me interested and just get on with it. As if it was that simple! I spent my time gaining experience abroad and in the UK, in areas of medicine I thought I would like. Firstly, oncology which I did not enjoy then gynaecology which was also a ‘no-no’. I thought cardiology was exciting, challenging and interesting. So, I did my elective on a cardiology project in America which I enjoyed but all the doctors seemed so busy. I just put it down to the American system.

Then I embarked on my journey as a doctor. My FY1 rotations were in anaesthetics/ICU, geriatrics and general surgery. The real business started on geriatrics where I was faced with patients that had to be managed with a holistic approach. Then I went onto general surgery and confirmed that surgery was definitely not for me.

I started my FY2 rotation on a GP placement which at the time I wondered if I would enjoy as I had the mis-conception that GP was repetitive, not much medicine applied and not exciting enough for me. Meaning, I was still convinced about becoming a cardiologist. My GP rotation was at Torry Medical Practice and it was the best experience I’ve had of all the jobs I’d done. It was everything I did not think it would be, it was challenging, busy and exciting. You did not know what was coming through the door, different consultation styles had to employed, difficult patients had to be dealt with and there was a lot of medicine to be applied. All of sudden, my mind set started to change. I’ve got a family with a 20 month old son and it was more enjoyable and less stressful to cope with family life and home whilst on this training. It was a ‘win win’ for me, I could do what I enjoy and still spend time with my family. Finally, I got the opportunity to do a taster week in cardiology and it did not feel like a job I would enjoy particularly after speaking to the senior doctors there. The picture was different and I was a bit more sensible, this was my realisation that you have to be committed to whatever specialty you chose and it was not all about deciding on what I believed was exciting. There is more to life and GP offers me the work-life balance I desire. After this experience, my commitment is to GP and my mind was set. I am currently pursuing my aspirations in becoming a GP.

Thanks to my supervisor at Torry medical practice (Lorraine) who guided me towards my decision!"

So if you are undecided, why not have a closer look at General Practice in the North of Scotland.  If you are not fortunate enough to have a GP placement in Foundation Year then please contact us and we can arrange taster weeks with local practices.

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