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A medical student from Imperial College London describes how her GP Tutor became a role model for her

Medical student Nell Freeman from Imperial College London describes how the third year of the medical course can be tough for students and how the GP who was her Clinical Methods Teacher was a role model to her and taught her much more than just clinical history and examination techniques.

"I hadn’t anticipated the emotional challenge of medicine. I found – narcissistically – that patients I could closely identify with, I carried home with me. I didn't quite know what to do with these emotions. 

I watched my GP teachers, some of whom had relationships with their patients for more than 20 years, being able to professionally help them navigate their health challenges while still maintaining a very personal, human connection with them, but then being able to close the door and open it again to a new patient. Our teacher let us debrief about our experiences and discuss these challenges.

I think the challenge of the third year at Imperial College is learning to accept how very hard medicine can be, but that the difficulties are completely different from the way we were anticipating – and nothing to do with being ever being able to memorize the Kreb’s Cycle or the flexor muscles of the hand. The best teachers I have had are the ones who have been honest about what they found and still find difficult and were willing to share how they manage it - teachers who role model how to begin to integrate the clinical side with the human side of being a good doctor."

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