Career Mentor

The war on GP workload

When everyone around you is working at full pelt and beyond, what do you do if you feel your whole way of working is unsustainable, especially when you feel forced to work in this unsustainable way? Sonia Hutton-Taylor helps explain what you should do if the early signs of burnout start to emerge. This is…
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Setting seismic career goals

There are a myriad of different ways to get the best from goal setting. In this fourth article in her goal setting series, Sonia Hutton-Taylor from Medical Forum brings together goal setting wisdom into a four-step goal setting exercise system. She suggests allocating a total of four hours as a minimum for this, ideally uninterrupted.…
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How to set SMART career goals

How to get the best from the SMART goal setting system Using a framework is much more effective than just writing lists. The SMART system has been somewhat over egged but, as a goal setting methodology, it is simple and can get someone from setting rubbish goals (or not setting any at all) to setting…
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Why set career goals?

Many people fail in life, not for lack of ability or brains or even courage, but simply because they have never organised their energies around a goal. Elbert Hubbard - philosopher and writer This article follows on from goal setting part 1 where I outlined the importance of goal setting as one of many career…
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Setting career goals as a sessional GP

In the career review workbook I use as mandatory preparation for all career discussions, one page is all about goal-setting. Yet I don't call it 'the goal-setting page'. Sneaky huh? Why have it there at all, and why not call it what it really is? Latter question first... why do I avoid calling it anything…
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Putting it off today

Is procrastination limiting 
your career enjoyment? Are you procrastinating about anything? The chances are that you are. We all do it. I have a small pile of rotting vegetables near my back door that needs to go onto the compost heap, yet I put off doing it (psychoanalyse that one if you dare!) and I…
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Letting go

In Sonia's final article on the top skills for general practice, we learn how to handle inevitable change. GPs are often bombarded with both overt and subliminal messages to carry on, keep on achieving, keep on working (often well beyond what is sustainable for the individual longer term) and generally not give up. The mortgage…
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New skills for general practice: Handling burnout

In her series on top skills for general practice, Sonia goes into more depth on how to recover after burnout. In my previous article, I covered how to spot if you have burnout and how a “personalised burnout prevention and recharging action plan” might be a good thing to work on if one has incipient…
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New skills for
 general practice: 
Recharging – part 1

Burnout is a term that’s loosely applied to pretty much any condition causing chronic exhaustion as a direct result of one’s working style, content or quantity, but which may overlap, lead to or mimic other conditions such as anxiety, depression and even resigning from a job. But before taking sick leave (the trouble with that…
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New skills for
 general practice: 
Assertiveness

In Sonia's previous article, we set out the importance of setting boundaries, and here explains how being assertive can help you set those boundaries. In my 20s I went to an assertiveness class thinking that I needed to speak up more, and was rather disappointed to find that it was aimed at getting people to…
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New skills for general practice: Setting boundaries

In her previous article, Sonia made an argument for redefining what skills we should be looking for in general practice. Here's the first of those skills - setting boundaries. Why do I think that setting boundaries is a vital career skill? Without it (and I have observed this in many doctors, not just GPs) there…
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What are the new skills needed for general practice?

What are the skills needed for today's successful GP career? I am sure everyone’s view will be different, but from talking to GPs regularly about their careers, I found that I have changed what I place as most important. A good while back I might have said something like Good communication skills Patience A feel…
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