On my surgical placement I gazed in awe as the consultant sutured two sections of bowel, his fingers nimble, quick and effortless. But mastery and expertise are not the preserve of consultants.
When a sick child is brought into the practice, the GP has to make a series of snap judgements about the severity of the illness and the directions for management. Swathes of complex information are integrated simultaneously, from the presence of intercostal recession, to the parent’s ability to cope at home. A talented GP can have all these cogs whirring in the background whilst deploying the communication skills needed for a carefully-pitched consultation.
On GP placements I have the privilege of glimpsing into patient’s everyday lives, from the mundane to the profound, from the joyful highs of a young woman finally able to conceive, to the crushing despair of an elderly gentleman diagnosed with advanced metastatic cancer.”
– Tom Ronan in GP Online
Tom won this year’s GP Online essay prize on 5th March 2018. He is also outgoing President of the University of Cambridge student GP Society.