For Family Doctor Day we sat down with Dr Vicky Cnops to chat about some of the highs and lows of being a GP.
- What inspired you to become a GP, and how did you get started in the field?
That’s a funny question because as a child I used to faint every time I saw blood. “I’ll never be a doctor!” I said to my friends. Now, being a GP, I realise the variety of cases and the long-term relationship with patients are two key components that drew me to the speciality. And I can reassure you I’m immune to blood now.
- Can you describe a particularly rewarding experience you’ve had as a GP?
As a GP every ‘little victory’ and grateful smile makes my day. If I were to share my most memorable experience, it would be after having seen 5 doctors for abdominal pain, a 9-year-old girl accompanied by her mother came to see me for advice. I quickly associated the pain with her limited diet which contained only chocolate mousse!
- What are some of the biggest challenges you face as a GP?
I speak for all GPs across the world by saying high patient demand, staff shortages, and ‘doctor Google’.
- How has your role as a GP changed over the course of your career, and what do you see as the future of healthcare in our community?
In my short career, it hasn’t changed that much yet. With an aging population and rise of chronic diseases we should focus more on prevention and collaborative care. With the increased work load I truly hope GP’s will not skip the time-consuming but valuable talk about lifestyle changes which can help patients with various aspects of health.
- What advice would you give to young people who are interested in becoming a GP?
Always be curious and continue to learn. Go on adventures abroad and do volunteer work. This broadens your horizons, builds interesting connections, and is beneficial for personal growth.
- Lastly, what do you like to get up to in your spare time?
I enjoy playing hockey and tramping so I believe I moved to the perfect country. I can’t get enough of the beautiful nature and the everchanging scenery.
I would like to give a shout-out to the team at Harewood Medical for all the hard work, dedication, and positive attitude. I feel lucky to have such great knowledgeable colleagues!