Locum for hire - the hunt for my first role as a newly-qualified GP
That’s it – I’ve done it! After much procrastination over the last few weeks, last night I finally sent out a slew of emails with my CV attached to several GP practices near my home.
The CSA now feels like a distant but dreaded memory to me now. Since passing the exam (phew!), I have been slogging away trying to complete that other behemoth that is the GPST e-portfolio to prepare it for my upcoming ARCP (annual review of competence progression) after which, if all is well, I will be finally signed off and will almost be a GP proper. By the end of July, my three years as a GPST trainee ends. I am both excited and anxious at this prospect.
My plan is to locum initially and ideally near where I live, because I have grown weary of my one hour drive to work every day and want to work closer to home, just to maintain my sanity. Although I have lived in Bristol for nearly three years, I have never worked there and need to get to know the city a bit better, especially choosing a suitable practice, where I may work for the rest of my working life.
Just like when I was preparing for my exams, I have a habit of procrastinating. Post-CSA, I was focused on my e-portfolio and went on holiday and knew I had to sort out my CV, but I just kept deferring it.
I felt anxious about selling myself in a CV, especially as I had not written one since 2007. I got my fiancée (who is neither a medic or nurse) to read it, and she said it was terrible - too wordy and busy. It was a harsh, but fair comment. I set about re-writing my CV and thinking about what a practice might want to see and learning how to sell myself. Then I got my trainer and every other doctor and practice manager to read it and finetune it.
Once I’d done my CV, I started thing about my ‘terms and conditions’- something I’d never thought about before - and asked colleagues and friends about what they did. After researching further, I’ve decided to write my own - ‘so you won’t get shafted’, as one locum put it.
Finally I researched all the practices within five miles of home to see where I might like to work and emailed the relevant practice managers after ringing them a few days before.
Now I must wait and see whether I am actually employable. If I manage to get some offers, then starts the countdown to starting work in a new practice, near home. And so the start of my life as a GP proper begins.
Dr Avradeep Chakrabarti is a GPST3 training in Swindon, living in Bristol.
This article was originally published in Pulse Today.