Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Life as a Career Start In Grampian

"It's been a few months over 11 years since I started my adventure into the world of medicine and I am loving it more than ever!

I moved up to Aberdeen to do my GP training a little over 3 years ago and it was the best move I ever made. I have now embarked upon the first stage of my career as a fully qualified GP. That feeling of not having to do any more exams again (unless for some unknown reason I choose to) is so satisfying. The journey however, has only just begun!

I am doing the Career Start Programme which allows me to combine general practice with another medical specialty, in my case, Old Age Psychiatry. On top of this I do an out of hours shift each week. The majority of my week is spent as a GP, allowing me to practice all those skills learnt as a trainee, whilst still being in a supportive environment. I can also start to look at the administrative side of the practice, preparing me for when I make that decision to become a partner. I also spend 2 sessions a week working in Old Age Psychiatry, running my own clinics and working alongside the consultant and other health professionals in the team. Not only is this helping me develop my knowledge of the specialty but also helping to make invaluable links to the other professionals working in the community.

Why would you not want to work purely as a GP I hear some of you say? That’s what I thought when I started my training, but then realised what better time will you get in your career to develop a specialist interest, without having to worry about squeezing it around your everyday work. The career start programme gave me complete freedom over how much I wanted to work and when. This allows me to work a full week yet still have every Wednesday off! At the end of this year not only will I have a year of GP under my belt but also unbelievable experience in another area, which can’t be bad when looking for jobs in the future!

Finally, my experience of training in the North East of Scotland has been amazing. Being on the doorstep of some amazing countryside means a good day is never wasted. Having climbed numerous Munroe’s and canoed down the River Spey (twice) I still feel as though I have only just brushed the surface with what is on offer and plan to use my days off this year to explore even more.

Andrew Rigby"

The career start scheme has been running in Grampian for 9 years now.  Posts last for one year and are part funded by NHS Grampian and the hosting GP practices.  The scheme allows newly qualified GPSTs a years work, either full or part time, in local GP practices along with the opportunity to develop special interests by working in any one of a number of specialties. You are also expected to commit to one out of hours session per week with the local out of hours provider GMEDs.  In 2014 we have about 12 posts.

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