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Five questions for Dr Brigid Flanders

This month we spoke to Dr Brigid Flanders, General Practitioner at the UQ Health Care Cornwall Street Medical Centre.

What inspired you to become a GP?
During the course of my secondary school education in science, I was introduced to a range of vocational options and I believed that studying and practising medicine suited my interests and my orientation to caring for people’s wellbeing. After graduating, I spent three years working in hospitals and during this time, I realised that my greatest interest was in providing continuing care not just emergency care. The role of a specialist general practitioner was the best fit for me.

What were some of your highlights whilst working as registrar at the Cornwall Street Medical Centre?
I came to Cornwall Street Medical Centre in my final semester as a GP Registrar. I found the work with young and medically oriented patients interesting and varied. The level of support of the Practice Manager, senior GPs and other staff was a highlight. Another highlight was that I gathered an increasing number of families and child patients.

How did this experience equip you to become a GP?
A GP could spend their working day in their consulting room seeing only patients. I learned that it’s very important to become part of a collegial group of medical practitioners that includes but also extends beyond other GP colleagues. I learned to value professional conversations very highly because GPs are presented with such a wide range of medical problems to solve each and every day, it’s often through continuing professional conversations that your knowledge and skills expand to suit the demands of the role.

What does a typical day look like for you?
The only things that are ‘typical’ in my working days are where I work and when I work. The vast range of medical issues that I deal with and the number of different patients that I see means that my work each day is always varied.

My pattern of work is as follows… I try to arrive usually half an hour before my first appointment so that I can check and act on results that may have come in. I spend all morning consulting, try to keep on time for patients and so that I can share lunch with and catch up with colleagues. Following afternoon consultations, I typically follow up administration arising from the days consultations and incoming results.

What are your interests outside of work?
Maintaining fitness and family related activities are my greatest interests outside work, alongside music, film and the beach.

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