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I am a final year GP trainee and I am co-chairing the BMA GP-trainees subcommittee. These are my jobs, but my hobby is being the club doctor for Queen’s Park FC in Glasgow. I go to work at Scotland’s national stadium, Hampden and enjoy facilities that are better than most other clubs in Scotland bar the top premier league teams. I sit on the bench, next to the players and get to watch football from one of the best seats in the house, with in game analysis provided by the coaches.
I started by e-mailing the big clubs here in Glasgow, Rangers and Celtic. I went onto their website and found a contact number and said who I was and asked if I could be put in touch with their club doctor. It took a while for the e-mail to filter through, but I got lovely responses from the doctors who provided me with great advice. The first thing I did was get a sports qualification to enable me to be a touchline medic. I sat the 2-day Sports Promote course that equipped me with all the information I needed and gave me practice tips form the best doctors in Scotland. One of the course directors then introduced me to the director of Queen’s Park and I was offered the role. This was serendipity but once you have the qualification you should e-mail clubs and look for experience with their doctors, remember that there are lots of different levels, not just the premier league.
My role is to look after the general health and wellbeing of the players and lead on their injury preventions and rehabilitation. I have a fantastic lead physio who I work closely with and there is a team of physios for the differing age groups.
I have an extensive orthopaedic background, so I am comfortable with injuries, but this is not a prerequisite for this job. You can learn everything you need and you refer on anything you do not know. My time commitment is an evening a week and every home game. It is so different it does not feel like work.
There are so many roles available to doctors, especially GPs, and I want to encourage everybody to look outside of traditional medicine for their portfolio careers and consider jobs/hobbies such as sports medicine. It is not just football that needs doctors: rugby, athletics, netball, ice hockey to name a few; so if you love a sport, just ask and get involved!
Sandesh Gulhane Is the co-chair of GPC Trainees subcommittee.
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Practicing it will make me a lot more experienced when I only study theory