Greig Nicol, GP Partner and Sports Medicine

What is your current role – what was your path to get here?
My main job is as a GP partner in Aberdeen and I’m developing a special interest in musculoskeletal medicine.
As an FY2 I asked one of the Aberdeen FC doctors if I could “look over his shoulder” at a match. A few months later he got in touch and asked me to be the doctor for the Aberdeen FC youth team for a match. I felt a bit unprepared but had some of the basic emergency skills. I gradually picked up experience by attending courses, covering matches and working in GP and as an ST1 in A&E during my GP rotation. 

What does your role involve? 
Since then I’ve been the club doctor for Inverurie Loco Works and am now one of the team doctors at Aberdeen FC.
I get to be part of the Scotland Youth teams at under 15 to under 17 level and have had lots of great opportunities there to work with experts in sport and exercise medicine.
I’ve been involved in providing medical care at quite a few sporting events most recently in being a field of play recovery team leader at the mountain biking event at the London 2012 Olympics.
As a GP partner there is quite a lot of responsibility but this comes at a stage in your career where that feels like a natural progression. The increase in autonomy and ability to influence wider patient care is really rewarding.
What influenced your decision to be a GP?
I wanted to be a generalist. All of medicine interests me and I wanted to see the full range of presentations. I wanted to work with people and feel that they could come to me with any worry or concern and that I would not be too specialised that I lost breadth in my knowledge.  

What do you think about your career now?
I’m really happy getting to see lots of patients and getting to know them and my colleagues.
I do seven sessions and aim to do at least a further one in musculoskeletal in addition to my football involvement. It’s a great balance and these different jobs complement each other very positively.
This feels like a good balance between time in GP, a useful and exciting special interest and being able to have time with my family.

What do you like most about your work?
I like seeing new presentations in GP: identifying new problems from your own clinical assessment and being the hub of patient care is very satisfying. It’s great when people come back to you so you can continue to offer care and see a real richness develop in your relationship and their quality of management.

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