It's easy to forget how far I have come.

Uncategorized Jul 02, 2019

Today I had a medical student for both sessions of GP.

She’s ultra keen and it is fun to have her enthusiasm in the room.

Everything is new to her.

Everything interesting and fascinating.

It is the benefit of the beginner’s mind…

And I recognized myself as her back in 2000.

Except I wasn’t anywhere near as enthusiastic.

Some of the time I was barely keeping my eyes open.

This may have been through decreased sleep or through a particular sensitivity, I have to carbohydrates inducing sleep in me, especially if I was just passively watching.

One of the outcomes of these experiences has been to greatly value giving my medical students the opportunity at the earliest to start consulting.

As they quickly find out, there is a world of difference between watching a consult and doing a consult.

Suddenly, what was easy to watch become difficult to do.

One case today we examined the ear tympanic membranes.

The patient had a popping and crackling sensation in the left ear.

My medical student looked in and thought it all looked ok.

I looked in and thought there was a thin wall of wax obscuring the drum.

I sent the patient for an ear syringe… The wax washed out to reveal a moderately florid fungal ear infection.

What was apparent to me was that hundreds and hundreds of consults later… I have done the reps.

And in that journey, it was easy to forget just how far I have come.

I definitely still have a lot of challenges in GP… It is a deeply challenging job.

But for some things… I’m good.

Consult after consult after consult after consult… after consult after consult after consult…

And I realize that at one point… I too was my medical student.

At the beginning… I sucked.

Now, in some things I still suck, but in others, I have a deep trust in my experience and skillsets.

If that confidence in your practice is something you also seek, then I will suggest to you that the stronger the frameworks you have for working as a GP, the quicker and better you will become competent and trusting in your own skillsets.

If this is something you want for yourself either for your exams or for you as a GP, then I invite you to head over to and join the Key Feature Medicine movement.

If you aren’t… then the invitation is to look at your own life and ask yourself…

Where is it that I have made the journey from beginner to master and yet I am not owning it in myself?

Until next time…

Good studying and good medicine!


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