Somehow I’ve ended up as a part time GP and a part time Director of Medical Education for a private provider of GP services.
How did I get here? My journey probably started because I didn’t know what I wanted to do after my house officer year. Looking for answers I got a job in Australia to do A&E despite being told it was career suicide by my consultant and that I’d be looked down upon when applying for a training job when I came back.
Turns out it was the best move (professionally) I ever made. I went for six months, stayed for 8 and not only picked up emergency skills experience, but also learned to surf, made some amazing life-long friends and achieved work life balance.
The unscratched itch of needing to complete some sort of training qualification drew me back to the UK, but not before independently travelling around south east Asia as one last hurrah before settling down.
As an aside there is nothing like travelling independently for meaningful reflection. Time and unhurried thoughts drew me to a career in general practice where you can truly treat people (not just diseases) and follow their lives over time.
As a GP registrar my GP trainer was a Training Programme Director and I liked the idea of giving back help and advice to trainee GPs finding their way. Soon after qualification I applied for a job as a TPD. By now I knew what I wanted to do and passion and commitment often paves the way to success so was lucky enough to get offered the job!
This was the start of my portfolio career. 4 days seeing patients in my practice and 1 day teaching on the local VTS scheme.
Now I have moved on to being a Director of Medical Education 2 days a week for a GP provider, which involves supporting other GPs to become medical educators and supporting allied health professionals into general practice across the national network.
In summary, the P in portfolio career stands for passion. Find your passion and follow it. Don’t be afraid to work part time whilst you find your niche. Beware though, without proper structure and dedicated time you could find yourself with 2 full-time jobs.
Time management is a lifelong learning process, but having 2 or more jobs will help you improve this!
Don’t be afraid of taking a non-traditional career path or doing it part time whilst you explore your passion. Working part time can often have a galvanising effect on your ‘day job’ of medicine and who knows where your other passion may take you…