Ella Winstanley, recently qualified GP from Bromley VTS

Having just completed the Bromley VTS programme I couldn’t recommend it higher. Throughout the scheme I felt supported and appreciated as a trainee.

General Practice is certainly not for everyone but personally I could not love it more. Despite the myths that it is an easy option for those that cannot hack hospital life, I’ve found it my most challenging job yet. I often find myself identifying as a life coach first and then as a doctor. Increasingly, the answer does not just lie in another pill to add to the pile. By recognising that peoples’ health is determined by a range of social, economic and environmental factors, allows us to address peoples’ needs in a more holistic way. Although holistic medicine can be arduous, it has presented me with the most rewarding moments in my career as a doctor.

As a GP you really can mould the job to your own specification. For example, within my practice at Broomwood Health Centre, I have been able to share my passion for exercise with my patients to not only promote disease pretension but also bring the community together. We have now become a “parkrun practice” and we attend this local free event weekly to support our patients as they make positive changes in their lives. We have several patients join us every week and have seen significant improvement in not only their physical but also mental health. By bringing the community together, we also hope to tackle the very real issues of social division, isolation and loneliness that are so often at the heart of chronic disease.

If you have a passion for people I would strongly recommend a career in general practice. Don’t just treat disease, treat the “whole person”.