A welcome message from the RCGP AiT Chair to our ST1 trainees

As the Chair of the AiT Community Group at the RCGP, I would like to welcome our new cohort of trainees starting GP training this month. You are about to commence this incredible and wonderful journey to becoming an independent practitioner, and whilst you will face your fair share of challenges and ups and downs, there are endless opportunities and experiences to be had and I hope you can look forward to this exciting period in your professional life. It may not be easy, but it will definitely be worth it!

Training and relocating to the UK

A little about me. I come from Hyderabad, India, where I completed medical school, however the majority of my schooling before that was in Dubai. After finishing my medical school, I trained in Emergency Medicine in India, and spent another 3 years learning to save lives in an acute setting. During my EM training, I also managed to complete my MRCEM Primary exam which really helped with my move to the UK in Dec 2020 where I was recruited directly by the NHS Northwest Anglia Trust to Peterborough City Hospital and ended up working for 1.5 years as a Specialty Registrar.

In August 2022, I moved to the West Scotland, Ayrshire/Arran deanery to commence GP training, and I am currently in my ST2-2 rotation in paediatrics. 

In talking a bit about my diverse background, I hope you can find something to relate to. Whether you are coming from abroad to train or have relocated within the UK, many of you will relate to some of the difficulties that come with moving to a new place, with new people, and a new way of working.

Tips for progressing through GP training

As I progressed through my GP training, I faced many hurdles, and you will too. 

These are some of the things I have learnt which might help you early on in your GPST journey:

  1. Be professional: Always be punctual, have very strong work ethics, be respectful to your colleagues no matter who they are and thank them for their services whenever you get a chance. A thanks or an apology go a long away if you use them correctly. Ask for permission even when you don’t think its required. Some of these ethics will really account for your character and help you in your professional development.
  2. Be eager: Always stay hungry for knowledge. Be eager to learn, ask questions, show up early and leave a little later. Learning is a never-ending process, ask any of the healthcare leaders around you and they will agree. They are still learning new things even after spending more than 25 years in the profession.  The more you show your willingness to learn, the more opportunities that will come your way.
  3. Be communicative: This is the key in all relationships whether it is professional or personal. If you’re struggling, speak up. If you have a family emergency, speak up. If you’re not able to cope with the pressure, speak up. If you’re having personal problems, speak up. The more you talk and open up to your supervisors and colleagues, the more comfortable you will feel with your interactions. A well-known saying which has really stuck with me since I moved here is “If you don’t ask, you won’t get”. Simple!

These hacks are just the tip of the iceberg, if you think these were helpful then get in touch. I am sure there will be things that you could teach me as well.

Our diverse backgrounds are our strengths. It was definitely an advantage for me! I bring to the table experience from a different part of the world with a distinct approach to healthcare. New ideas have always been welcomed in the NHS.

RCGP support community 

Throughout my AiT journey I have been involved with the RCGP, and I feel very blessed and grateful for the support that I received from my RCGP West Scotland faculty in that time. My election as your RCGP AiT Chair hopefully is an indication that I am at least doing some things right to get me this far.

Every role I took on had its own expectations which I have always tried to exceed. There are times I have failed, and there will be times ahead that I will fail again. But if I had to give you one takeaway point after reading all this, it would be that ‘your failures will teach you a lot more than your successes ‘. If you look at failure with this perspective, I am sure you will discover a lot more about yourself than you already know.

If I can do it, so can you!

If you would like to find out more about getting involved with the College or are interested in finding out more about the AiT Community Group, or even becoming a rep yourself, reach out to your local faculty, who will be more than happy to talk.

Lastly, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. If there is anything you’re struggling with whether it be professional or personal, we can always have a chat about it.

AiT resources

About the writers

A casual image of Dr Akram Hussain outside.

Dr Akram Hussain

RCGP AiT Chair

Dr Akram Hussain is part of the RCGP West Scotland faculty network and was elected AiT Chair in 2023.