This article is from the GP Frontline archive and was originally published in September 2022
Dr Ursula Mason is RCGPNI Chair and a GP in Carryduff, South Belfast
Why did you choose to be a GP?
No two days are the same! I really value the variety and the relationship-based care we provide to patients.
What's the best thing about being a GP?
The close relationship with patients and my fantastic practice team. I feel proud that we are able to provide a high-quality service in the local community.
What's the most frustrating thing about being a GP?
The challenge of trying to meet rising demand with limited capacity and insufficient resources.
What are you most proud about in your career?
I am probably most proud of being able to build a portfolio career. In my role as Associate Director of GP Specialty Training at NIMDTA and as a GP trainer, I have had the pleasure of supporting many colleagues through their GP training and now watching them thrive in their career.
How challenging has the pandemic been?
It has been a huge challenge for all of us. We did not enter the pandemic in a good place and were already battling rising demand and limited resource. Moving virtually overnight to a new model of care was extremely challenging. In Northern Ireland, we also rapidly set up primary care Covid centres, to keep our patients and staff safe.
What has been the most important lesson you've learnt during your career?
When an opportunity arises, look at it, sleep on it, trust your gut and if it feels right, go for it!
Why do you think it's important to be a College member?
Professional connections and fantastic learning opportunities. With the huge challenges we face, having a collective voice is important.
What would you be if you weren't a GP?
Searching for the right career!
What is the biggest challenge for GPs in Northern Ireland?
No Government, no agreed budget and resultantly, no ability to deliver the change we need.