Real-life story - Dr Tanya Parry
Tanya started her career in the NHS as a nurse and decided to retrain as a doctor after she worked closely with GPs in A&E.
How I got into the role
I have worked for the NHS since 1988 – I started my career as a nurse and worked in a variety of settings, starting in elderly care and later moving to A&E.
Working as a nurse in A&E was definitely a rewarding role and, whilst working closely with GPs, I gained an interest in medicine. I thought about pursuing it as my next career move as I knew I wanted a role that was varied, flexible and changed patients’ lives. As a mother, the work/life balance being a GP offered was also an important factor that eventually led me to look into the various routes I could take to become a doctor.
I graduated with an Honours degree from Liverpool University in 2006. After completing my foundation years, I entered general practice training in 2009 and worked in psychiatry, palliative care, paediatrics and A&E.
Although retraining took some time, I thoroughly enjoyed my courses and it was interesting to learn the theory behind the tasks I had been seeing the doctors perform in my years as a nurse.
What I do
My typical day starts at 7:45am. The first thing I do is complete my paperwork before I open the surgery at 8am. From 8am till 5:30pm I see a number of patients who present all sorts of conditions.
Once I finish at the surgery, I do home visits and attend to patients over the phone. I also attend teaching sessions on a weekly basis.
The best bits and challenges
Each patient brings a different challenge and I like that I can draw on my experience as a nurse to help me in my knowledge of a number of medical conditions.
Treating patients and helping to keep them healthy is the most rewarding thing and I enjoy getting to know my patients and their families.
Career plans and top tips for others
I really love my role and working for the NHS. There are so many opportunities for career development and training, or retraining in my case.
I can certainly say that being a GP is incredibly satisfying and I am very glad that I decided to pursue it.