St Thomas More RC Comprehensive 1990-97, (not a well known school for sending people to University or MedSchool…) University of Birmingham 1997-2002.
10 GCSEs 4 A Levels (Physics Chemistry Biology Maths)
Degree in Medicine and Surgery (MBChB) 2002,
Diploma of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (DRCOG) 2003
Membership of the Royal College of General Practititioners (MRCGP) 2007,
Postgraduate Certificate of Medical Education (PCME) 2010
Fellowship of RCGP (FRCGP) 2017
I’m a Medic Get Me Out of Here Winner 2018
Sandwell Hospital, Princess Royal Hospital (Telford) Russells Hall Hospital (Dudley) Compton Hospice (Wolverhampton) and my current practice- worked here for 15 years this year.
I run our practice with my partners, and we see NHS patients with a contract held by Sandwell & West Birmingham CCG
I’m employed by Health Education England working as a Training Programme Director.
I’ve published illustrations in 2 books, 2 journals and created videos and poems about the brilliant things in General Practice. I love my job.
This is my intro video from 2018- still makes me laugh!
I’m a happily married GP with two young sons, Alex, 9 and Danny, 6, both in the clip, and I live in Wolverhampton.
I love football despite being an Everton fan and family dominates my spare time. The kids are at an age where soft-play, days out and tickling are major parts of my free time!
I love drawing and making new stuff, like videos, images and websites for the practice and our local training scheme.
My pronouns are
I’m a practising GP in the Midlands working 7 sessions per week seeing patients, as well as being a Training Programme Director, where we arrange the teaching sessions for junior doctors on the 3-year GP training rotation.
I’m Vice Chair of the Midland Faculty of the Royal College of GPs, making sure those in charge of planning the health service value those of us in General Practice seeing 90% of the patients who access the NHS each day- it’s an easy sell!
I’m active on social media and tweet for our Midland Faculty as well as my own account, @ArtfulDoctor, and my video-poems about General Practice have been played at the National Conference. I illustrated ‘The Inner Physician’ (2016) a book by our former College President about how we can use the person we were before medical training to help us connect to and understand our patients better. Our next book ‘Consulting in a Nutshell’ (2020) was released in November last year.
In 2017 my campaign to summarise General Practice in 150 words using #GP150w had a twitter reach of over 3 million and it won a national prize. The collection of versions gives you a real idea of what GPs, trainees, medical students and patients think about what GP means to them.
My videos on General Practice are available on YouTube, having featured at National Conferences, including #GPKipling, which launched the Conference in Liverpool in 2019.
In spite of all my efforts on social media to promote our wonderful career, my biggest tweet to date was about my mum getting her COVID jab from Notts legend Jonathan Van Tam. That went viral! 😂
My Typical Day:
Tutorial with trainee, seeing patients in the surgery or in the local nursing home, letters and prescriptions then home to play with Danny and pick up Alex from school; back in for evening surgery later.
I start a day with a tutorial with my trainee, looking at his videos of consultations and making suggestions as to how things could be improved, then I see my own patients in the surgery or in the local nursing home, followed by admin and prescriptions which are mostly done online, then home to pick up Danny and Alex from school; back in for evening surgery later which finishes about 6:30 to 7 in the evening.
On Wednesdays I’m not in surgery and go through my trainees eportfolios where they write a diary of his recent learning for me to make helpful comments.
Quick Fire Questions
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Creative, Enthusiastic, Compassionate.
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Beatles, Stevie Wonder, David Bowie and most things from the early 80s.
Modern artists love the Weeknd
What's your favourite food?
Duck. I also make a great lasagne!
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Pic of the couple of books I’ve illustrated!
Indoor skydiving (in a wind tunnel) and singing on the Radio (Merseyside) with my brother, aged 9!
2021 Update: Most fun thing: I’m a Medic Get Me Out of Here, March 2018. 🙂
I wrote and performed this with my brother last year, and it was used to launch the national RCGP Conference:
What did you want to be after you left school?
I didn’t really have a clear idea, went for Medicine as it would leave alot of doors open for me to choose something I’d like to do.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
I did smash the window with a football and turned round to see the Head and Deputy standing behind me. Awkward.
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Making a difference in each consultation (the best feeling is when what you say and how you say it is the best treatment, rather than a tablet or a referral), and making our practice website, now through 63,000 hits, with our award-winning advice clip for spotting signs of serious illness in children.
2021 update: Website now through 136,000 hits, 161,000 in 2022!
Also since last time I’ve made a few videos on what General Practice is about- using #GPKipling I rewrote Kipling’s ‘If’ poem about being a GP, and it was picked up and used to launch the national GP Conference in Liverpool in 2019. I was there and honestly I was bricking it- 1600 other GPs watched it on the bigscreen in the auditorium and gave it a round of applause! Phew!!
A great thing most GPs have done since the start of COVID is getting stuck into vaccinating all who will accept the vaccine- it’s been the biggest ever vaccine programme in British history and three quarters of the vaccines given have been by staff that work in GP surgeries. Literally lifesaving work.
What or who inspired you to do your job?
It just seemed like such an interesting job, to explore symptoms and work out what’s going on. Both my parents were social workers and they split up before my GCSEs, so going into medicine wasn’t something that was always going to happen. I think that because it wasn’t forced on me as a career means that my enthusiasm remains strong and I feel a sense of real privilege that I’m able to do a job I chose to do. I remember at a school presentation evening the speaker said “If you reach for the top of the tree, you won’t get off the ground, but if you reach for the stars, you might get to the top of the tree” That struck a chord with me. Dream big, and go for it. Young people are amazing.
If you weren't in healthcare, what job would you do?
Here’s one I made earlier:
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
I wish I could help people understand what value patients place on their Doctor.
I wish I can always keep the balance right between doing things that give me energy and avoiding burning out.
I wish for my boys to grow up with confidence and happiness and do what they dream of.
Tell us a joke.
I tried to sit my Latin GCSE in an elevator. It was wrong on so many levels.