CALL THE DOCTOR GP NEEDS TO HAVE HIGH EQ AS WELL AS IQ
A GOOD general practitioner can be one of the most important people in your life, particularly if you have a chronic condition or develop a serious illness.
A positive relationship with your GP is priceless, so it’s important to choose the right one.
Dr Sachin Choudhary, who has been a GP for more than two decades, understands this crucial role.
“In Australia, general practice is the first stop, the gateway to the rest of the health system. You have to have experience and knowledge of most other disciplines in medicine,’’ he said.
“As a GP you have to enjoy people, sharing their problems and joys.”
Although entry into medical school required very high marks in the HSC and involved a minimum of 11 years of study and apprenticeship, in practice medical studies involved more diligence than intelligence.
“A successful doctor has to have a high Emotional Quotient (EQ) rather than a high IQ,” Dr Choudhary said.
In Dr Choudhary’s case, choosing a career in medi- cine was obvious as his father was also a doctor.
“I spent my teens working part-time as a receptionist in my father’s general practice in Penrith. I watched the same patients returning over the years and enjoyed the relationships that my father and I developed with them ... I was awed by the trust patients placed in my father as their GP.’’
Dr Choudhary, who practises at various centres including CityDoc Medical Centre in Redfern, said the life of a GP was challenging.
A typical day would involve consulting with 40 to 50 patients.
“In a typical day, most of the 50 patients that you consult will present with similar symptoms but there may be one of them that can have a serious life-threatening con- dition,” Dr Choudhary said.
“That is the real challenge in general practice – in that five to 10 minutes that you spend with a patient, determining who is seriously unwell. That is where experience counts.
“With years of experience, doctors develop what we term “clinical suspicion’ – it is like a sixth sense but is an actual culmination of your experience in practising medicine.”
The most rewarding aspect of being a GP was seeing happy patients.
“It’s when you see the treatment plan that you have instituted for a patient actually showing results ... ”
And what is his tip for good health?
“The old adage ‘food is medicine’ has never been truer when we consider the most pressing health issues today,” he said.
“This is the most important health habit to teach our children.
“Teaching them healthy food options, how to minimise additives and preservatives in their diet and how to cook fresh, simple meals,” Dr Choudhary said.