On the train back from the fantastic RCGP conference, I felt inspired and more interested in GP as a career than I ever had before.

The conference gave us students a real flavour of what issues are relevant today in general practice, hearing from speakers on a wide range of topics from LGBTQ+ Healthcare, making the NHS and Healthcare spaces Carbon Neutral, dealing with negative press and the challenges and strengths of the mixed delivery of GP appointments via online, telephone, video and in-person consultations.

The conversations of the conference itself were also marred by the same day announcements by MP Sajid Javid, who cancelled his appearance at the conference.

We also heard from Chris Witty, the CMO for England and heard of his hopes and worries for General Practice in England in the future post-Covid. The reaction of this news being broken to a room full of GPs compared to the standing ovation that Chris Witty received was a moment I’ll find it hard to forget.

The amount that politics plays a part in the structure of the NHS, how GP practices are funded and therefore run, and how socioeconomically decisions affect patients and what they present to their GP with, was even more apparent at this year’s conference.

It is the variety of patient groups, the biopsychosocial model and the scope that GP careers have that keeps me interested in GP as a career. Although it was discussed at the conference how retention of GPs at trainee and further stages is a current issue, I am sure that many more like me would be more interested in a career in “GP-Land” if they looked further into the impact they can have on patient lives each day.

My RCGP conference reflections by Estelle Mills

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