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Teaching children about medicine - National Science Week

    I enjoy the challenge of facing the unknown when one meets a patient for the first time. Couple this with the associated breadth of disease presentations, health/social issues and home visits, then for me, General Practice becomes an extremely captivating, personal and constantly dynamic job. The ability to achieve a continuity of care with patients over time provides its own rewards.

    I also enjoy the pastoral nature of General Practice. General Practice is the one speciality that truly lends itself to allow you to become, in the patient's eyes, “my doctor”. This connection is a privilege and facilitates the ability to discuss and review quite sensitive personal issues with patients; a dimension I find extremely engaging and rewarding. Being able to provide a listening ear and working together to formulate an approach to a problem, whose management is not or should not necessarily be catered for by drugs, is in itself a major part of General Practice. A patient's consultation with their GP may provide just enough support to allow the patient to keep going.

    Being actively involved in the local community is an ambition of mine which General Practice lends itself well to; for example, the ability to pursue and promote public health issues as well as creating a forum to help local residents to participate in charity work. Furthermore, I am interested in the business and management aspects of General Practice and these facets complements such activities.


In the long-term, I intend to combine my career in General Practice with my interests in Medical Informatics and Education. Since doctors, nurses and their equivalent student counterparts are intrinsically mobile, I hope to utilise both my medical and informatics experiences to design, supervise and audit the implementation of IT projects involving mobile computing systems in the healthcare and educational settings.

Portable access to medical information and patient information (e.g. BNF, Consultations, Laboratory Results, Outpatient Letters, Oxford handbooks, etc.) on handheld computers and similar portable devices, has been possible for some time now, however, few institutions are implementing such systems and those that do often fail to have the sufficient backing and investment to manage such work in a structured and informed manner. Furthermore, there is often insufficient collaborative work with IT, Software and Medical personnel to ensure projects are successful and individuals adequately trained. Such training would best be targeted at the student’s level as they will walk into the medical/nursing jobs of the future.

I am convinced that student doctors, nurses and ancillary staff should be targeted early on in their careers to provide them with the necessary insight into the potentials that exist for the use of information technology in healthcare. With this in mind, I believe that healthcare educators should establish workshop based teaching sessions as part of the first steps in the introduction of medical informatics courses/options to students. Such a venture will also lend itself very well to enable enthusiastic students establish medically relevant projects during their undergraduate years.

Copyright Amir Mehrkar-Asl 2002-2006