When I was 15, we had a ‘go to work with your parents’ day at school. My dad worked as an accountant and my mum was a district nurse. I thought it’d be much more interesting to follow my mum than going to my dad's office. I spent the day shadowing my mum on her rounds and by home time, I’d decided I wanted to become a doctor. I studied hard and managed to get into medical school up in Liverpool. After qualifying, I trained and worked there for another 10 years before moving down to London to work as a GP in Hackney.
I’ve always been interested in the next big thing, the latest new idea. It’s become a long running joke amongst my friends. I’m constantly thinking about how else I can use my skills to make an impact on people’s lives. I like seeing what else is out there.
In my first year as a GP, I moved around on rotations and really enjoyed the variety that brought. Having never had a gap year, I also took six months out to travel the world, which again got me thinking about practicing medicine in a different kind of way. When I came back from my travels, I was offered partnership at a practice in Islington.
I worked as a partner for a year, working 14 hour days on top of which I had a three hour round trip commute as we’d moved out of London. I’d catch the train to Waterloo, run into work, grab a shower and wouldn’t finish work until late in the evening. The long hours, painful commute and stress of the job really started to impact me and affect my health, my relationships and my general well being.
I’ve always wanted to help people and I felt like I didn’t have the resource or time to do what patients wanted and needed. It wasn’t how I wanted to practice medicine and I felt like I was constantly letting people down - patients, family and friends alike. One morning on my way to work, I was flicking through Pulse magazine and came across an ad for Doctor Care Anywhere. The whole newness appealed to me so I thought I’d check it out.
After having my interview and my first few consultations, I knew it was the right thing for me. I ended my partnership in London and started working from home. Shortly after, I married my wife and we finally got the puppy we’d always wanted as being around more meant I had the time to walk and look after a dog. Working like this means I can now be the kind of doctor I’ve always wanted to.
I love that it’s a new way of practicing medicine. Being able to provide “go to” health care advice and health care action is really exciting. And I love how it fits into my life.
I often get my appointments in advance so I can see how my day is looking the night before. I like that I have more control over my workload and I find that I can give more time to patients because I know what my schedule looks like and when my next appointment is.
I like to go jogging before I start my day and as I work in 4 hour shifts, I can go for a stroll, pick up a coffee and take the dog for a walk. It’s a nice pace. Not too quiet, not too busy - it's manageable. I often get a few gaps which is great as it means I can catch up on notes and follow up. I can sit in my lounge and look out over the garden while I’m talking to patients which I find really helps patients to relax. If I’m relaxed, they tend to relax more.
My ultimate dream is to have a set number of patients whom I follow throughout their lives, looking after them from when they’re babies to when they’re looking to start a family of their own. To be the modern family doctor that’s always there for my patients - that’s a job worth getting up for every day.