Job Title: GP Principal
What was your favourite subject and who was your favourite teacher at Queen’s Gate?
I always liked Biology and Miss Harris, my IIB form tutor.
What is your fondest memory of Queen’s Gate?
Too many… one example was the closeness between peers and days spent forgetting underwear at swimming lessons! On the day of the school photo we had swimming and as I was in swimming club my father dropped me off at the swimming pool rather that at QG; I was wearing my swimming costume already and I had forgotten to pack knickers- oops! My friend Jessica was so skinny she always wore a pair of knickers over her tights to hold them up so she lent me those. Crisis averted!
Did you get involved in any extra-curricular activities such as music, debating or sport?
I was a member of most extra-curricular activities; choir, chamber choir, swimming team, yoga, sewing, cooking, speech and drama (LAMDA gold medal with honours), prefect, Head of House, Deputy Head Girl.
What do you think Queen’s Gate’s unique selling point is?
The family spirit –there is a closeness of teachers, staff and girls. To this day I am in touch with the majority of my peers from both the junior and senior school.
Looking back, what do you feel Queen’s Gate has given you?
My education, personality, confidence and success. I cannot imagine life without QG.
How do you think Queen’s Gate helped you get where you are today?
Lots of amazing opportunities, roles of responsibility, mentoring younger students, interface with staff, PR for the school (open days and showing prospective girls around on exam days). I felt safe and blossomed in a protective environment.
What made you decide on your university course? Did you consider any other paths?
I always knew I would study Medicine despite being encouraged to consider alternatives. I loved science and was good at it.
Tell us about your journey from choosing your university to your job now.
I left QG in 1999 and started medical school after the summer holidays at Imperial. I was at Imperial 1999-2005 and attained MBBS and intercalated BSc (Hons)- Medical Science with endocrinology and a 2 month elective at the Mayo Clinic-USA.
I then started as a F1 doctor at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital where I rotated through orthopaedics, general medicine with rheumatology and general medicine with colorectal (4 months each). I then moved to the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford where I did the next 3 years; the first as an F2 doctor rotating through A+E, ENT and general practice. In your F2 year you essentially need to decide what speciality you want to choose( a bit like university applications again).
I decided that General Practice is where I wanted to specialise. After assessment days and exams I was successful in securing a place on my preferred GP training scheme based in Guildford. The first two years spent rotating through hospital specialities; A+E, paediatrics, psychiatry, obstetrics and gynaecology, oncology and haematology where I also studied for and achieved my Diploma in Child Health. My final year of training was as a GP registrar at Cranleigh Medical Practice, Surrey. I attained my MRCGP and Certificate of Completion of Training (became a consultant) in August 2010 eleven years after leaving school! Now in possession of lots of letters … MRCGP DCH MBBS BSc(Hons). It has all been well worth it and there’s more to learn and more letters after my name to come!
I worked as a salaried GP in Wimbledon and Walton-on-Thames until March this year when I joined a GP partnership in Claygate, Surrey as a GP Principal. I am currently undertaking my PGCert in Primary Care Education in order to teach GP trainees in the near future.
Tell us about what an average working day is for you.
No day is average! Typically I get to work at 0800 and work non stop until 1900.
During this time I will run two surgeries; AM and PM where we have booked appointments of ten minutes per patient, do paperwork, review test results, have meetings, do visits, phone patients, teach juniors and peers, issue prescriptions, deal with emergencies, undertake continuing professional development, grow our business, deal with most recent dictates from the Government/NHS, attend meetings and if very lucky have 15 mins for lunch!
Do you have any advice for those thinking of a career in Medicine? Anything for GPs in particular?
Not for someone who is not prepared to work hard.
You need to have a genuine interest in people and being curious helps.
You need to have good organisational skills and be able to multitask.
Professionally, what would you like to be doing in 5 and 10 years?
I am now a GP Principal but the future of general practice is relatively uncertain in view of the recent Health and Social Care Act and the reorganisation of PCTS now CCGs. Only time will tell. I am hopeful that I will still be a clinician with a management/teaching role- helping to develop the system for younger colleagues.
Are you still in touch with QG friends?
Yes. We are in close contact.