During one of my first lectures during my first year of medical school, our lecturer asked how many of us in my class wanted to be surgeons. More than half of the room raised their hands up including myself. Afterwards our lecturer asked how many of us wanted to be general practitioners/family practice doctors/distriktsläkare. About five people raised their hands up. I wasn’t one of them.
Why is it that primary care is often perceived as one of the “lower,” “less interesting,” “boring” specialities? Statistically, more than half of all medical students in a class end up in primary care in the end. I guess people eventually realise how great the specialty is, after one overcomes the social stigma of the “super-shiny” status of surgeons and other specialists. And there is a high demand for primary care doctors too of course.
Here are some examples of the privileges of working in primary care:
- You do medicine, surgery and other different types of treatment approaches on a daily basis so it’s hard to get bored
- Patients come in with literally any symptom possible, and it’s up to you to decide which system they belong to – exciting detective work
- You really get to personally know your patients and their families through the years, as families tend to stay within the same practice/clinic/Vårdcentral
- It’s easier to plan your time and time-offs as the patients are not acutely ill
- NORMAL OFFICE WORKING HOURS – what night shifts?
- It’s very well paid, especially in rural areas
I could definitely see myself pursuing primary care in the future with those perks.
I have been in Värnamo for my primary care placement for the past two weeks and absolutely loved it. It’s such a varied specialty with all sorts of patients, you never knew what people would come in with as they walked through the door. And they always have the most amazing stories to tell. Definitely far from boring, which most have an understanding of primary care to be.
This is my fourth primary care placement ever, after three 4-week placements in the UK. Because of this I wasn’t really looking forward to this placement thinking it’s a repetition of the past. But this has been the best placement I have ever had so far.
The people have been most welcoming (like amazingly welcoming, they even hugged my goodbye!), even giving me an office for both weeks to make sure that I felt like a part of the team/family. I was given lots of responsibilities, and they really pushed me to my abilities. Everyone has been super friendly, even have driven me home sometimes and had coffee or fika outside the clinic! I’m sure these experiences I gained here I will have use for throughout my career.
Värnamo, thank you very much for an amazing two-week placement in primary care. My four-week tour around Småland is now over, and I can finally return to Linköping. No more travelling, I can finally settle back in my new home in Linköping until the summer.
See you soon Linköping, I’ve missed you! 🙂