Updated: Feb 23
Written by our guest article writer Tara Humphrey
What is Inspired Medics?
On 19th May, I made the 250-mile drive from Kent to Leeds to attend the Inspired Medics Careers Conference targeted at current and future portfolio GPs which had 20 varied speakers contributing to the event. Inspired Medics, set up by Dr Angela Goyal, was created to provide GPs and other healthcare professionals with up-to-date, independent CPD in a fun and inspiring way and this event did not disappoint.
As the only non-GP in the auditorium and a management consultant, I was a little apprehensive as I thought people would either think, why are you here? Or, what are you selling? But with my Community Education Provider Network hat on, I wanted to attend with the pure aim of gaining a better understanding of:
· What portfolio GPs do?
· What portfolio GPs want?
· And how CEPNs support them?
Starting with a warm welcome sprinkled with inspirational talks and practical advice, I was overwhelmingly surprised with the rapturous reception everyone gave me, and I honestly cannot say thank you enough to everyone that came up to speak to me. I have never been to a conference where everyone was so friendly and wanted to hear my perspective.
To add to this, I knew I was in the right place when Dr Pooja Arora reminded us that “We all have value that we can bring to the table”. Sometimes we place too much emphasis on titles and place unnecessary limitations on what we can do, where we can go and what we should say, but Dr Kailash Chande - honorary vice president of the British Medical Association (BMA), affirmed that “Leadership is about attitude”!
Another sentiment which resonated with me from Dr Kailash Chande was, “not to sit on the outside and criticise, but become a part of it. Develop your understanding and never stop learning”. Now I hope I don’t criticise, but the latter is definitely what I am trying to do.
Without a doubt, for me, the star of the show was Professor Helen Jayne Stokes-Lampard - Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP). Helen gave a funny, inspiring and energetic keynote presentation on how to take the next step in our careers on which she drew on her own experiences. Helen spoke of:
· Playing nicely, even with the nasty ones!
· Taking the time to really know yourself
· Believing in yourself and what you have to offer
· Investing in yourself
· Knowing that you can’t change other people, only yourself
· Bouncing back when things don’t go your way
· Plus so much more.
So, what does a portfolio GP do?
Alongside their core general practice sessions, they can:
· Develop a special interest / extended role to deliver a more specialised service (Dermatology in this conference seemed to be popular)
· Support the Clinical Commissioning Group in a leadership capacity
· Get involved in Education. A good example of this is Dr William Laughey’s portfolio who is a; GP, GP appraiser, GP Trainer, Medical School Tutor for medical students and Physician Associates and is an educator for doctors getting medical education qualifications.
· Take part in a fellowship scheme. In London, Kent, Surrey and Sussex, Health Education England and Community Education Provider Networks (CEPNs) have facilitated newly qualified GPs to work across primary and community care with one day per week of academic study
What do portfolio GPs want?
Essentially I feel that portfolio GPs need a place to find out what opportunities are available to them and to learn from those who are already walking their walk. The Inspired Medics conference definitely achieved this.
How can CEPNs support this?
From a CEPN perspective, which is my special interest, I believe CEPNs can offer portfolio GPs opportunities to get involved in training, education, projects, widening participation and clinical leadership positions. However, sadly not all areas have a CEPN but the key takeaway I and others involved in primary care can apply are:
1. To ensure we have an online presence, attend conferences and run our own events. Use social media, websites, and newsletters. We need to be visible, proactive and responsive.
2. To keep messages simple and lose the jargon. CEPNs essentially support recruitment, retention, and professional development of the general practice workforce and should give examples of what we are specifically doing to help drive the message home.
What made this conference different from the usual health-related and NHS conferences that I have attended?
Dr Angela Goyal created a relaxed, warm, friendly, fun, inspiring, practical, memorable, enjoyable conference with high-profile and engaging speakers and I can’t wait to purchase my ticket for her next conference.
To learn more about Dr Angela Goyal and Inspired Medics click here and follow her on Twitter @drangelagoyal
To find out more about Tara Humphrey visit www.tarahumphreyconsulting.co.uk/blog and find her on Twitter @THConsulting, on LinkedIn @ https://www.linkedin.com/in/tarahumphreyconsulting and signed up for her monthly newsletter here
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