Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Discover GP Scotland Conference

Having just finished my 5th year GP placement in a rural Practice in Argyll, which confirmed my desire to become a GP, I was excited to attend the Undergraduate GP Conference in Edinburgh to learn more about what a career in General Practice could offer.  Several of us travelled down from Aberdeen for the event – it was an early start for some who got on the bus down at 6.30am!  It was great to see so many students there from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee Universities and also from the Queens University in Belfast and to share our enthusiasm for General Practice with them.   
Dr Carey Lunan, the RCGP Scotland Chair opened the conference with an inspiring talk about her career to date and how GPs can make a difference in patients’ lives.  Throughout the day we listened to various GPs talk about how they felt privileged to work in General Practice as they valued the continuity of care and the variety of opportunities available to them to expand their “portfolio career”.   
Throughout the day, we were split into groups to attend different workshops including: consent and confidentiality in General Practice, learning how to do CBT, speed dating with GPs and triage in General Practice.  These gave us the opportunity to discover the variety of paths a career in General Practice can follow and enabled us to ask questions to GPs about what their jobs involved and their favourite aspects of being a GP.   
In the afternoon, there was a Question Time style event with MSPs (most of them former doctors) from the Scottish political parties who answered questions on several topics relating to General Practice, including the new contract, funding and recruitment.  Even though there was a large focus on recruitment and funding issues during the debate, it has not put me off becoming a GP! 
Overall, the conference was a great opportunity to learn more about the variety of options available in General Practice in a “portfolio career” and it was lovely to meet other students interested in General Practice. 

Fiona Cowie 
5th Year Medical Student at the University of Aberdeen 

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