What is your educational background?
- BSc – Sports Science and Mathematics, Loughborough University
- MSc – Exercise Physiology, Loughborough University
- MBBS – Guy’s, King’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals , London
- Foundation training – Thames Deanery
- GP Vocational Training Scheme – Training
Can you describe your experience of the fellowship to date?
I joined the GP fellowship scheme nine months after completing my GP training. I was looking for opportunities to implement the knowledge and skills I had developed via the Musculoskeletal (MSK) Mentorship programme, also organised by the C&P Training Hub and the GP Fellowship seemed like just the right programme.
The transition into the fellowship was seamless as the set up was similar to what you may find in GP training schemes across the country. High quality teaching from a range of professionals (including non-healthcare) with a focus on primary care and a supportive small group structure to discuss the highs and lows of GP life. A mixture of face-to-face and online sessions helped foster a community feeling whilst minimising barriers to attendance. The teaching sessions were well catered to the needs of a first 5 GP and included the opportunity to request specific topics.
My in-house mentor helped guide me and explore opportunities/demands specific to the surgery. We were able to identify an opportunity to set up a joint injection clinic that would allow me to build on my MSK interests, reduce the waiting time to treatment for patients and add an income stream for the surgery.
The remainder of my time was spent studying for the Diploma in Musculoskeletal Medicine (FSEM) with stipend funding to cover the exam costs.
The 1 to 1 coaching is one of the outstanding strengths of the fellowship. It has provided me with invaluable insights into my professional and personal life unlike anything I have had in my previous nine years of training.
What have you achieved with the programme so far?
The MSK/joint injection clinic I set up serves a population of approximately 40,000 patients distributed over 3 surgeries. It has run at least monthly with over 100 patients seen over the course of the first 10 months. Conditions treated include trigger finger, osteoarthritis, frozen shoulder, and rotator cuff syndrome. I hope to expand the clinic to include teaching opportunities for GP trainees and physiotherapists.
What’s been the best thing about your fellowship?
The best thing about the experience was the opportunity to develop my personal interest in a way that benefits my local community. Setting up my own clinic and an area of expertise has grounded me in my surgery.
In a nutshell, why would you recommend the programme to others?
I would highly recommend the GP fellowship to any first5 GP. Following completion of training, it is quite easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day general practice. The GP fellowship gives you space to look at the bigger picture, develop you personal interests and explore how best to use them to benefit your patients and community, supported by your peers, experienced mentors, and coaches.