Adaeze Ifezulike, GPSI Sexual Health and Out of Hours GP

What is your current role – what was your path to get here?
I work as a GP with special interest in sexual health(GPSI) at the Centre for Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare, Aberdeen.  I first trained to become a GP in the North East Deanery of Scotland. During this time, I also acquired a Diploma in Sexual and Reproductive health. Subsequently, I did a one year Career Start programme in sexual health and genito-urinary medicine.

What does your role involve?
I work alongside consultants in sexual health, associate specialists and other GPs with an interest in sexual health. 
My clinics follow one of 3 patterns: I might have a contraceptive coil clinic during which I insert, remove or change coils. I also see patients referred in by GPs who are unable to find missing coil threads and other coil related problems.  Next I do a contraceptive implant clinic during which I insert/remove or change implants. I also see patients who may have been referred in by their own GPs with implant related problems. My mixed clinic can be anything really! It can vary from sterilization discussions to discussing and starting patients on contraception, sexually transmitted disease screening and treatment, underage teenage sex/child protection issues, rape, gender- based violence and so on.
I augment this with out of hours work with the Grampian Medical Emergency Department(GMEDs).
In my spare time, I hold contraceptive workshops in the community as there is a lot of ignorance and misconceptions about contraception especially among the ethnic minorities and immigrant population.

What influenced your decision to be a GP?
I love the options that being a GP gives. A GP can do routine GP work or go into occupational health, substance misuse, minor surgery, teaching… name it!
As a GP, you can decide to work part-time and pursue other interests in life.
I love being able to look after the whole person rather than just a part of him. A cardiologist will feel out of depth if faced with a nose bleed, rash or stye…yet these are GP bread and butter stuff.

What do you think about your career now?
Its good…will get even better..(laugh). I have a young family so I need to plan things around them. Hopefully when they’ve flown the nest, I can explore the options open to me. There’s a lot a GP can do to influence the health of the community. I hope to get more involved in Health promotion in general and sexual health promotion in particular. We need to take these messages to the community rather than waiting for patients to come to us in our posh surgeries and clinics.

What do you like most about your work?
I am making a difference to lives….you cant ask more than that from any career!
I was asked to visit a dying man and I can’t forget the look of relief on the faces of the relatives when I walked in. They later sent me a ‘thank you’ card saying that my presence made a lot of difference to them at what was a very difficult time.
Just being able to help a patient decide on a contraception which suits them out of the myriad of contraceptives available, leaves me with a warm glow inside! I love my chosen career and I would do it again if I had to start all over!

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