Friends in Medicine: Dr Danso ~ General Practitioner.

By berrysmotivation - May 25, 2019

Dr Danso is a full time locum GP in East London, She trained at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. She is also an executive for the Ghanaian Doctors and Dentist Association UK @gddauk. With an aim to promote good health and well-being, she created an avenue (THE CLINIC DIARIES) on social media and YouTube for people to learn from her discussions on common health issues and more. Out of her busy schedule she took some time to give us an insight into the GP world. 

Thinking of becoming a GP? Want to know what it feels like? Read on to learn more.

What inspired you to become a GP and what steps did you take to achieve that.

During my training I thoroughly enjoyed a number of specialties including paediatrics and obstetrics and gynaecology. After working many unsocial hours during my foundation years, I knew I wanted to keep my weekends and nights free! So I naturally gravitated towards General Practice. I applied for GP training during my foundation training. The application process and assessments were quite straightforward. More information can be found on the RCGP website. I love being a GP and wouldn’t change a thing. 

What do you like best about being a doctor.

The best thing about my job is that it often does not feel like ‘work’. I definitely do have bad days but on the whole I really enjoy getting to know my patients and their families. Learning about their work and home life means you can treat them holistically. This approach works best. 

Whats a typical day like for you in a GP surgery.

Clinic starts at 9am, I see 18 patients until 12pm. After this, I have up to two telephone consultations and the occasional home visit. I complete various administrative tasks which can include reviewing blood test results and reports, making referrals for at risk patients and at times the coroners office about an unexpected death. I finish my morning session around 1pm. I go home for lunch and catch up with ‘life admin’ and then I’m back at 3pm for the afternoon session! I tend to leave work just after 6:30pm. 

Do you think there are people best suited to become GP'S

Yes I do! General Practice is not for everyone. You have to be a people’s person. People will confide in you and you will have to be their advocate. 
You need to genuinely have an interest in improving your patients lives. You need to be assertive and confident working alone and making decisions, but also be kind and empathetic. Finally being a team player! No one likes working with someone who shirks responsibility. 

What is the most interesting part of your job.

The most interesting part of my job is the constant developments in medicine. If you look at the news there’s always a health related topic. Being a doctor requires to keep abreast of these developments. With the upsurge of the internet there’s so much information available to both health professionals and the general public. Patients are more informed these days, which in most cases is great. Many patients will at times attend an appointment with their ideas of how they want to be treated, being able to respectfully negotiate is a handy skill. 

What is the most common misconception about GP's

The most common misconception is that GPs are overpaid and under-worked. First off, if you’re thinking about being a doctor to be rich I suggest you reconsider. Yes, you will be financially very stable but there are easier ways to make more money! GP work is incredibly busy and carries a lot of responsibility. After face to face consultations, there are vast amounts of administrative works required. This includes reviewing blood and scan reports as well as clinic letters. You are the middle man, for many agencies. One day last week I had to speak to social services, the coroner’s office and the police about different patients. It really is full on. 

How do you create a work life balance?

I’m currently a locum GP which allows me to organise my own time. I ensure that I take regular breaks to travel, see friends and family or just have alone time. It is easy to feel tired and burnt out, you cannot work effectively like that. Being able to recognise when you need time out is vital. Looking after your own health has to be a priority! 

Please share any of your best or worst experience.

That’s a tough one because there are so many. The best thing is having an impact on a patient’s health and well-being. Patients will remember you forever, so always try and make it a positive experience. Be kind. Receiving thank you card always makes my day. The worst experiences are patients who can be verbally abusive and rude. I’m definitely not as cheerful when I’m ill but there’s no excuse for belligerent behavior. I’m developing a thicker skin, and learning not to take it personally. You have to shake it off and not let it affect you particular if you still have a list of patients to see. 

Any advise or tips for aspiring trainees who want to be on same path as you.

Keep pushing, you’ve got this. The path is never a straight one. I was told in 6th form I’d never make it into medical school and I should consider applying for another course. I knew I could get in, so I didn’t listen. You need to know where you want to be and wholeheartedly believe you will make it! Your hard work now, will pay off later! This advice is true for medical school and during training! 

To benefit from discussions relating to common health issues and more you can search for @theclinicdiaries on twitter, instagram and facebook.

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