Applications for GP training opened this morning, and I couldn’t think of a better reason to breathe some life into my severely neglected blog, which is most of the time about how AWESOME it is to be a GP. I’ve written extensively (and seriously) on what is so great about General Practice, but there are a swathe of more light-hearted perks, and I would be remiss in not pointing out some of these! They might even outweigh you having to stare at my face too many times during the application process.
1. You get your own office, which probably won’t have disgusting hospital green walls and scary vinyl floors.
2. You get your own computer. That’s right, no more jostling for space, no more writing notes quietly in the ED bay whilst a patient is trying to sleep, or having to work on computers that don’t have the settings you prefer.
3. You can have your own mug for tea and coffee, at your friendly general practice, where NO-ONE will ever even contemplate buying International Roast. Sometimes, those heroic souls working in reception even buy real coffee for you.
Now, I know I’m only up to number three, but if you’re convinced already, and can’t wait to apply, I won’t hold it against you if you stop reading. The link you want is here. But if you’re into modern day Utopian visions of life as a doctor…
4. Work is often FLEXIBLE! I have colleagues who start late to have a surf every morning, have a 2 hour lunch to hit the single track at the local mountain bike trail, and finish in time to pick their kids up from school every day. Also, it’s 11am on a Monday and I’m blogging…
5. The education during training is first rate, and funded by the government because Australia NEEDS more GPs! If you’re wondering why the grass looks greener on this side, that’s because it is – we have time off to water the lawn, and our fertiliser money wasn’t spent on crazy specialist college fees.
6. Unless you want to, there is no obligation to work evenings, nights, weekends, or public holidays ever again! (What are you doing this easter long weekend? You could be on holidays with many other GPs)
7. Love working with your hands? Or having adrenaline coursing through your veins? You don’t have to give up the procedural stuff! GPs work in emergency, anaesthetics, obstetrics, retrieval medicine, and almost every other area of medicine you can imagine.
8. It’s not a major achievement to train part-time. You don’t have to find someone to job share, slaughter a goat in the rain, and perform a ritual dance under the full moon. You just tick a box when applying for training. (But remember, full-time training is a civilised 38 hours a week)
9. Patients bring you presents! I’ve had home made cakes and preserves, fancy relish, free range eggs, home grown produce from the veggie patch and orchard, to name a few.
10.And before number 9 makes you believe I’m a greedy so-and-so – you get the presents because of a chance to build an ongoing relationship with patients, who KNOW YOUR NAME and who you are – something I never got working in hospital.