Q&A Session – Mohammed Ahmed: Our GP Leadership Fellow
A question and answer session with Dr. Mohammed who recently joined the Lincolnshire Training Hub
So, how did you get to this career point in time? Can you talk a little about your background, did you do anything else prior to Medicine?
I grew up in Lincolnshire and returned here after doing my medical degree in London. This included an intercalated BSc in Experimental Pathology. I then completed my GP training in Boston leading to a part time salaried job as a GP for 2 days, and the rest of the week I work for Lincolnshire Training Hub and study for my PGCert in clinical leadership, education, and research. Prior to going to medical school, I worked on the beach in Skegness selling ice cream – that was a yummy job.
What has been your career to date?
Following medical school, I did my foundation years as a junior doctor in Nottingham and Grantham and then joined the Boston GP training programme. I worked as a Locum GP till I settled at a practice as a salaried GP. Having seen how another GP fellow enjoyed her time during her fellowship year, I also decided to apply for a fellowship programme as I realised it gave me the opportunity to network and experience different ways of working as a GP, this fellowship enables me to look beyond just working in primary care, I am now directly involved in its evolution.
Why general practice?
I cannot remember a single reason so there must have been multiple! The clinical consultation skills of General Practitioners are an art that can be admired, but General Practice also offers greater opportunities to work in various capacities that look at the bigger picture – preventing disease in the population rather than just treating people when they are unwell.
What do you enjoy the most about general practice?
I have never got bored of consulting, it remains intriguing to me whether on the phone or in person. Currently I am enjoying working on various projects with the Lincolnshire Training Hub as it is a completely new way of working for me.
Where do think the main challenges are for general practice both now and in the future?
I think the current biggest, and rising challenge remains obesity. It affects greatly the outcomes for so many different clinical conditions. I do not think General Practice can solve this problem on its own, we will need to tackle this on many levels.
You started your fellowship during COVID, how has it affected your day-to-day practice and fellowship activities?
My clinical days have changed completely, I have had to learn a new way of consulting, using telephone and texts, which has been a learning process for me. But I think I’m much more comfortable with it now. It has also led to me working from home more and attending meetings with colleagues online. Given I have had my first baby during the pandemic the added flexibility of not having to travel to specific places has helped greatly.
You are working on some projects during your fellowship, can you explain what they are and why they are important?
I am currently working on the new general practice fellowship programme which is for both GPs and nurses who are newly qualified. The aim is to support their transition into general practice, whilst enabling them to develop leadership and educational skills. Primary Care Networks are one of the current big projects in general practice and they will need GPs and nurses with skills that are different from the clinical skills learnt during training. The new fellowship programme aims to contribute towards this.
Why should people choose general practice as a first destination for their career?
There are excellent opportunities to make a career that works for you. Also, general practice offers real variety, work-wise because your patients are so diverse. It may take some tinkering to find the balance that is right for you – but hopefully it’ll then be worth it for many years.
What are your plans for the next five years?
I plan to continue doing my clinical days and I am using my time in the fellowship programme to take a closer look at the opportunities available to me in my locality. I would like to contribute to the development of primary care and have come to realise that there are a great many ways of doing this.
For more information, please see the LTH website: https://www.lincolnshiretraininghub.nhs.uk/
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