The Village Surgery

Looking back on my varied medical career, it has always been the holistic aspects of medicine which have interested me, but that have often been difficult to fulfill, particularly with the unrelenting pace of modern GP. A ten-minute consultation is fine for dealing with acute illness, but it provides insufficient opportunity to look at the whole person in a holistic manner, which in the case of chronic disease is the only way to affect real, long standing change. I find myself consistently fighting time pressure, frustrated that I’m unable to do the job to the standard that I would like. Where this applies to patient care it feels morally, ethically, intellectually and emotionally unsatisfying and that I am short changing those in my care, particularly those with Mental Health problems. To this end I have elected to leave GP and move back into Psychiatry, where I can better apply my holistic approach.

Music is my main interest outside work. I’ve been marinated in jazz since birth, by a piano trio obsessed father and a vocal standards loving mother. As a child, I would sit listening on the stairs as friends of my father’s, who played on the local jazz scene in Nottingham, called in at home late night for post-gig debriefs, so I’ve long been aware of the joys and tribulations of being a musician. I went off on my own musical listening journey as a teenager, but found my way back to jazz in my late 20’s and my career as a dedicated attendee at jazz gigs and festivals has gone from strength to strength over the last 15+ years, culminating in my recently taking on the role of Trustee/Secretary of local music promoter Jazz North East. As cherry on the cake I play classical flute to Grade VII standard, sing jazz standards with a local sextet and write poetry and songs. My first undergraduate degree in the visual arts, my previous professional role as a self-employed designer/maker, my varied medical career to date and my lifelong involvement with live music give me a completely unique combination of skills and knowledge to bring to my role as a member of HMUK’s Health and Welfare Board and I am delighted to have the opportunity to share that knowledge with those who can hopefully gain some positive benefit from it.