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Dr Gwydion Wyn on the challenges and rewards of being a GP in the Rhondda Valleys.
Dr Gwydion Wyn is a GP at Pont Newydd Surgery in Porth.
When I first started working as a GP in the Rhondda, I was shocked by the number of late presenting, serious conditions that I would see. People would walk into my surgery with advanced cancers, terrible chests, bad depression and severe heart disease. These were challenging cases and, for a newly qualified GP, a challenge that I thrived upon.
Diagnosing and treating these chronic conditions has proven rewarding form a professional point of view. But it is seeing these patients a few years down the line with a vast improvement and better quality of life that makes it so worthwhile.
The work is varied, no day is the same. I have seen patients with up to three different forms of cancer at the same time, and seeing their bravery and helping them deal with these cancers is a real challenge.
Every time a patient thanks me, it makes my job worthwhile. An elderly man recently thanked me for saving his life. I had seen him a couple of months earlier and found he had a condition requiring an urgent scan. The following week the surgeons operated on him, and now he is doing well and recovering. He was told by the surgeon that had I not picked this up, it could have been fatal.
The south Wales Valleys is a great place for students to train as they see a lot of diseases, and pathology. Our patients are welcoming and grateful for care they receive. As a young doctor, there are plenty of work opportunities in the valleys and a real sense of achievement.
My area of interest is respiratory medicine and I have been part of the Cwm Taf chronic obstructive pulmonary disease project and had opportunity to do joint clinics with a chest physician in the surgery.
Common conceptions about the Valleys are just wrong
Our hardest challenge is ongoing health promotion, and educating patients on how to deal with minor illness, self care, ‘antibiotics don’t work for a common cold’. It is work in progress but we are starting to see the effects.
Many common conceptions and prejudices about this part of the world are just wrong. Driving around the Valleys, which is an easy commute from Cardiff, and looking around at the natural landscape, you can quickly appreciate the beauty of the area.
I have been working at Pont Newydd Medical Centre in Porth for almost six years now. I feel proud to be part of a dedicated, hard working team that delivers high quality health care to our patients from a modern, purpose built surgery.
We work closely as a practice team as well as utilising members of the multidisciplinary team such as district nurses, Macmillan nurses and health visitors.
We are also fortunate to have supporting colleagues in secondary care and, in particular, an excellent radiology department that enables us to investigate suspected cancer cases promptly.
As a practice, we are heavily involved in the Rhondda cluster. We are excited that all GPs in the Rhondda get together to discuss and implement plans that will improve the health of our people here.
Being a GP is a difficult job. But being able to look after and help people with multiple co-morbidities and seeing the difference our treatment can make, makes the effort and hard work satisfying.
The people of the Rhondda are warm characters with a strong sense of identity and community. They deserve to be looked after well and this is what we aspire to do.
what a lovely caring doctor you are not many of you around who cares so much for the people of our valley
what a lovely caring doctor you are thank you so much for caring so much about the people of my rhondda
Wish you were in our surgery great doctor buy going what I have read
I am sure that you are a caring doctor and I am glad that the Rhondda has someone like you and your fellow professionals looking after us. However, it's not always as successful as you mention. I visited Pont Newydd Surgery on three occasions over a period of six weeks or so, complaint of a cough and hoarseness in my voice. I was told I had a virus but in fact I had cancer of the larynx. Fortunately for me my persistence paid off and I was successfully treated at Velindre. There are posters in the surgery that state " if you've had a cough for more than three weeks tell your doctor". I did but they didn't listen.
I have nothing but praise for Dr. Wynne and his fellow GP,s. They are doing a difficult job very well. No one can be right all the time, if so we would have a perfect world. It is good to hear his views regarding the genuine kind of people who live in Rhondda and that they constantly show their thanks for the treatment afforded them.It is good to note the appreciation shown by an "outsider" to the local people and to green valley in which we live. Perhaps if the Rhondda was advertised more we would be able to attract more doctors of this calibre and not face surgeries shutting down or having to merge.
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