Is general practice the only option for a good work-life balance?
Ask the careers psychologist
- By: Caroline Elton
Caroline replies . . .
I am often asked this question, but embedded within it are two misconceptions. The first is that general practice is a “soft option,” and the second that there are no hospital based specialties that can offer a practitioner a 9-5 working life. Let’s look at each misconception in turn.
It’s true that currently GP practices aren’t open in the middle of the night, or on Sundays, but having to work night shifts or at weekends is not the only source of stress in a doctor’s working life. GPs are frontline medical workers who, alongside their emergency department colleagues, control access to secondary care treatment. GPs have to possess a multispecialty working knowledge and be able to distinguish what is potentially serious in a variety of specialties. They then need to decide if a patient needs a secondary care referral or if the symptoms can