Andrew Sutherland, GP

Dr Sutherland was told “medicine is too hard”

Andrew-GPTell us about your experience of getting into medicine

When I first realised I wanted to do medicine I can remember being told that it was probably too competitive and difficult to get in. I suppose this spurred me on to go ahead and apply – I knew there was a good chance I would get the grades I needed. I tried to make my application as attractive as possible to the medical schools by working as a healthcare assistant in my local hospital. This early experience caring for patients undoubtedly helped get me in to medicine, but has also allowed me to understand better how to interact with unwell people.

What is being a doctor (or med student) like?

I love being a doctor. All through my training, and now I’m a qualified GP, I’ve relished the opportunity to meet and get to know patients and their families from all walks of life, and provide care for them. I really enjoy the scientific aspect of diagnosis and treating disease, but also helping people understand and cope with their illness on a more human level. I’ve never had a boring day at work – it’s often full on, and my day is packed full. That can be emotionally and physically draining, and I work hard to de-stress out of work and maintain a healthy home/work balance. I like the opportunity to work in a team based setting, working with many people to help deliver great patient care. At the moment there is a lot of uncertainty in the NHS, and the pressures on us to provide care are increasing all the time. However, I’ve often wondered what job I’d do if I wasn’t a GP, and to be honest I can’t think of anything as rewarding and enjoyable.