Matt Burkes’ Top Tips for being a GP Trainee!

1. Be careful about offering medical advice to receptionists etc. If your not careful you will end up running a clinic with no notes and questionable legal cover (and the partners don’t like it).

2. Always do a full examination of infants and record their vital signs (including CRT and Resp Rate) regardless of what they are presenting with.

3. Know how to get help urgently.

4. Know how to provide help to other GP’s urgently.

5. Revise Gillick competencies.

6. Make sure you know how to refer for a TOP as learning on the job isn’t great.

7. Chaparone!

8. When someone says “I’ve got a list” ask for the most serious complaint first.

9. When a older gentleman presents with mechanical back pain, make sure he has had recent bloods including PSA.

10. Learn the prescribing criteria for Viagra.

11. The Council info shops are a great port of call for young adults who are upset/agitated/distressed. See also the wonderful school nurses.

12. Phoning the med reg on call can be very useful. They are much less grumpy than the SHO and know more.

13. Make use of the WSHT GP website.

14. Ask all doctors at your practice to let you know whenever they have any dermatology cases.

15. Buy a thermometer that measures in the ear or spend time wrestling with paeds patients. It’s your choice.

16. If a patient makes you scared/threatened/bad about yourself then talk to someone else about them.

17. Most practices have an attached CPN, get to know them.

18. When a patient tells you they are pregnant don’t say congratulations till you know they are happy about it.

19. Remind OCP users to take extra precautions when prescribing antibiotics.

20. If the practice nurse asks you to review one of their patients, then review the patient.

21. Take in cake on your first and last day.

22. Find out the practice telephone number that bypasses the recorded stuff and gets you through to a receptionist straight away.

23. Get your supervisor’s mobile number.

24. When your Friday afternoon list is over-running and going pear-shaped, remind yourself that you are not working Saturday.

25. Go to the beach.

26. Get to know the local residential/nursing/EMI homes. It will come in handy.

27. Have a laugh. It’s a long day without one.

28. Learn to say no.

29. Find out the local 2 week rule criteria.

30. Know how to spot a malignant melanoma.

31. Anyone who feels they are poorly enough for a home visit should have vital signs recording.

32. Learn to ride a motorcycle.

33. Don’t ignore child protection but get help.

34. Never skip lunch.

35. Hit ePortfolio hard in GP, you are seeing a lot and have time between patients. It’s harder in hospital jobs.

36. Book holiday early, book holiday for your next job now!

37. The Oxford Handbook of General Practice is worth owning.

38. Find out how to get an urgent ECG done at your practice.

39. Beware the patient you don’t like, they sometimes really do have something wrong with them!

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