Dr Yasar Khan joined the GP Education Group (GPEG) at the Primary Care Unit in 2017. GPEG teaches hundreds of medical students every year – delivering 21% of the Cambridge clinical curriculum and teaching everything from dermatology to primary care paediatrics. Dr Khan is an Assistant Director with the team. He is a GP and medical educator who is also pursuing his Masters in Medical Education at the University of Bedfordshire.
How did you become interested in medicine?
“There was no single defining moment. In fact I struggle to recollect the exact narrative that led to being part of this great profession. I always found learning of the science subjects particularly intellectually invigorating. My experience of the medical profession revealed people who were compassionate and valued. I wanted to apply to train to be a doctor! I remember being asked why? My answer was always why not?”
So you were the first member of your family to study medicine? What were the barriers that you overcame to get into medical school? And what helped you?
“I did not have personal access to a member of the medical profession. On reflection this made it difficult to organise relevant work experience. I hand delivered a personal written letter to all the local GP surgeries requesting work experience but was unsuccessful. In the end I visited the voluntary services department at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital and a lady called Mrs Liz Bagshaw took pity on me. As it transpired, I had the most educationally valuable work experience shadowing a variety of professionals and speaking to patients. Without this experience I think it would have been impossible to gain entry into medical school.”
What was it like studying medicine?
“I went to Norwich Medical School. It was intellectually vigorous but thoroughly enjoyable. It surpassed my expectations.”
How did your interest in GP develop?
“From the time I was in medical school I wanted to be a GP. A GP is the first port of call and often the last port of call for a patient. They are the medical advocate for their patients from the cradle to the coffin. The demand for formulating a specific management plan that encompasses a patient’s physical, mental, social and spiritual needs in ten minutes albeit without prior knowledge of the reason for the consultation is intellectually stimulating and thus appealing.”
I am enthused by all the specialities in medicine. Being a GP involves keeping up to date in all areas: we use a great breadth of skills to meet the needs of a patient, who can present to their GP with any condition.”
– Dr Yasar Khan
And your interest in medical education?
“I wanted to be involved in medical education to play a part in developing, educating and influencing the future generations of medical doctors. It is a rewarding to work with their unbounded enthusiasm, intellectual curiosity and open mindedness.
I work as an Assistant Director in the General Practice Education Group (GPEG), Primary Care Unit at the University of Cambridge and I also teach early career GPs in the Luton GP Training scheme. I used to be a Training Programme Director for the Luton GP Training scheme and I am an examiner for the GP School entrance exam. Also, I work as Clinical Educator at the University of Bedfordshire involved in the learning of allied health professionals.”
Special interests in medicine?
“My special interest within medical education involves the use of Virtual Reality Technology in General Practice education.”
Can you describe a day in your life at PCU?
Dr Khan’s days at PCU are varied: he explained that a recent day included:
– Meeting with colleagues on formulating the medical student clinical exams
– Analysing the content of the medical student teaching
– Planning an outreach event with colleagues to inform teenagers of the nature of a career in medicine
– Visiting a GP surgery interested in teaching medical students to explain the medical curriculum and determining whether the students can be placed at that surgery.
Return tickets will be available on the door at our Cambridge Science Festival event: ‘Do YOU want to be a doctor?’. Sunday 25th March at 11.15 – 12 noon on Cambridge Biomedical Campus.
For young people who want to try out their diagnostic skills. With Dr Alex Davidson, Dr Kinnary Martin and Dr Ruwani Siriwardena and ‘patients’ in our on-stage GP ‘Surgery.’ Free stethoscopes for most promising future GPs. See more
About the GP Education Group at the Primary Care Unit
Top image: Dr Jon Ferdinand for the Primary Care Unit