A week before my 14th birthday I was knocked over and spent the next six weeks in the hospital. This experience had a profound, lasting effect on me; the kindness and caring of the Doctors and Nurses inspired me to become a Doctor myself so that I could help others in the same way.
Whilst at medical school in Cambridge it became clear to me that General Practice was the way to achieve my goal. I was drawn to this holistic specialty that allows Doctors to see people as human beings rather than diseases. I wanted to be a part of people’s lives, seeing them through bad times and helping where possible.
I am now a GP Partner in an ex-mining community in South Yorkshire. As well as seeing patients I teach young doctors who are training to be GPs. I try to instil in them the qualities and strengths I think are paramount– kindness and empathy in hand with good clinical knowledge.
I organise the ongoing continuing professional development for all the GPs in my area, and I am a GP Appraiser, helping qualified GPs improve their standards and performance.
My clinical role is very challenging as the social deprivation in the area can impact on people’s health; a holistic overview considering a person’s health beliefs and personal circumstances is essential. In my experience, most health problems have a psychological basis, and so medication alone is never going to be the answer.
My years of consulting and teaching have given me a unique perspective on the importance of helping people develop techniques that empower them to take control of their situation and improve their physical and mental health. Time after time people have come to me asking me to “fix” them. My response has always been to help them “fix” themselves.
Chrissie and I met over a decade ago. Over the years we have helped each other through personal and professional challenges. We have developed specific skills that have allowed us to help patients become stronger and more confident in managing their symptoms and controlling and solving their problems.
We truly believe our resilience tools work and can have lasting benefits for people. We see this daily with our patients, and for ourselves.