The importance of sustainable, rural General Practice

10 January 2019

I am a passionate rural GP for various reasons. I feel that working in a small rural town allows me to practice holistic, personalised care where I have an in-depth knowledge of most of my patients, and I feel privileged to be part of their lives and part of their communities.

There is evidence that personalised heath care produces better clinical outcomes and reduces hospital admissions.

Because of the poorer access to secondary and tertiary care remote and rural GPs often have to have a greater and deeper level of skills to manage people in the community, and because we work in smaller units have to be a 'Jack-of-all-trades' rather than the practice dermatologist, gynaecologist, paediatrician, or minor-surgeon.

Whereas I enjoy working in a small rural practice, I appreciate there may be a downside to some people. Being a part of a community can lead to a loss of anonymity. Keeping appropriate knowledge and skills up-to-date where educational opportunities are less accessible can be a challenge.

I am thus looking forward to the forthcoming Rural Forum conference - a chance to share both the joy and challenges with delegates from all parts of the UK, together with some experts from a variety of backgrounds, as well as brushing up my resuscitation skills. I hope to meet many of you there.

Post written by

Dr Rob Lambourn

RCGP Rural Forum

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