Updated: Apr 29, 2021
This week we talk to Dr Mariam Adegoke about her career so far in general practice!
Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your career journey so far?
I graduated from the University of Liverpool almost 7 years ago and have worked in various roles in medicine since then. I did my foundation jobs in North West London and upon finishing them I wasn’t really sure which direction I wanted to go in. Trauma was one of my top choices but I couldn’t decide between trauma medicine (aka emergency medicine) or trauma surgery (orthopaedics).
My CV and previous experience had been geared towards orthopaedics but I wasn’t 100% sure so I moved to Australia and worked in A&E there. I loved it! The lifestyle was great - you work to have a great life doing the things you want, not the other way round as we tend to do here - living just to work. They also really created a safe place for staff to learn. It was everything you’d want from an employer.
Why did you choose this specialty?
After a while running traumas it lost its edge and I started to find it quite repetitive as a lot of it is pattern recognition. The A&E doctors in Australia also cover the Early Treatment Zones - similar to the urgent care centres that we have in the UK. I found that I was increasingly drawn to this less acute side and because of how the health system is set up there, a lot of patients who couldn’t afford to see their GP attended A&E and were seen in the ETZ. I liked the pace and the continuity, but also the feeling of no two days being the same. That’s what drew me to wanting to specialise in general practice.
General Practice is so varied in terms of the presentations you see. One person might come in with a low mood, another for a fit note, and another with mild chest pain that turns out to be a cardiac emergency. I find the variety enjoyable.
During your time in medical school, did you enjoy this specialty?
We had very little exposure to general practice at university. We had 7 weeks in fifth year and I did enjoy that as it was the first time that I felt like a ‘proper doctor’. This is because I was seeing the patients whilst the GP sat in. That placement was a very distant memory by the time it came to applying for general practice and one of my worries was that I would finally do a GP placement, hate it and be back to square one in terms of choosing a specialty.
What is your greatest achievement to date?
I set up my own medical wellness and aesthetics clinic based in Islington. It was not without its challenges but it’s rewarding t