Five years ago, I moved to the UK from Croatia and started my GP training. In 2016, the NHS was new to me, and every post had a steep learning curve.
When I finished my hospital posts I had a good understanding of what hospital medicine was like within the NHS. But starting my GP post, it was back to square one. I learned the IT system, the referral pathways, how to interact with the wide variety of patients and how to manage the complexities of GP clinical work. During our training we had our protected education days when we got together with the other GP trainees in the area and attended lectures on different topics. Many of these were clinical topics, but every now and then we would have a lecture on the business and management side of general practice.
During these sessions we learned about the partnership model and what it means to be a salaried GP. Sometimes there would be a little bit of time dedicated to the mention of being a GP locum. At our training practices we could attend partnership meetings, palliative care and safeguarding meetings. These gave us a glimpse into the decisions that needed to be made to help the practice run smoothly and maintain the continuity of care for patients. During my time in training, I met a few locums – but this was usually only in passing while we were getting a cup of tea.