I was able to arrange two days of work experience with Boundaries Surgery at Four Marks in Hampshire. In my time there, I shadowed Dr Liz Hughes, Dr Kate Smeaton, Dr Phil West, and Nurse Hazel Cox.
General practice is by no means the sedentary job that it is sometimes portrayed to be. I noted that there is a lot of hands-on work, and even I was able to measure a patient’s blood pressure and listen to a few chests with a stethoscope. I found accompanying Dr Phil West on home visits a new and interesting experience also. It is the social aspect as well as the medical care that treats the patients, particularly the elderly. One man with a history of depression was very jolly when we turned up on his doorstep, and he spent more time showing us things of personal interest than having medical attention. In addition, the possibility of other medical opportunities was impressed upon me. One of the GPs I shadowed lectures twice a week to students, while another does some medical research besides general practice. I was also allowed to order (under close supervision) some statins in the dispensary. Working in the dispensary, and doing some administration in the office, was really useful, because it gave me an insight into how a surgery is run behind the scenes, and how appointments and prescriptions are made.