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20 February 2015
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Interview factsheet: 8 of 15 Colum Farrelly
Colum Farrelly
Job: GP Doctor
Name: Colum Farrelly, Age: 47, From: Derry Quote  'There is so much more to running the practice than knowing the medicine...'
Colum Farrelly
Key Skills
5 out of 5Communication 5 out of 5Improving learning and ability
4 out of 5IT 3 out of 5Problem solving
4 out of 5Application of number 5 out of 5Working with others

The lowdown

I worked in Altnagelvin Hospital for four years as a junior doctor - part work and part training. I then spent two years working in various hospitals, training as a gynaecologist. But I reconsidered my choice and changed to General Practice.

What you need

Science A-Levels, a university degree, then three years in hospital work and one year in a general practice training job.

My typical day

I’m in work for about 9am and see patients in my surgery until 11. Then I have a tea-break and do paperwork until noon. I go out on home visits until 1pm and then see patients in my surgery from 2-4pm and again from 4:30-5pm. I do paperwork until 6pm. Each year, I have to do twenty evenings of shift-work from 6pm-12midnight and twelve nights from 12 midnight to 9am.

Dress code

Fairly smart - shirt and tie.

Cash register £££££

The NHS arranges the annual income of the average GP to be about £60,000. That’s about to change as a new contract is being negotiated. This could see the average annual salary rise to about £80,000.

Why I love my job

It’s emotionally rewarding. Rather than a hierarchical system, I have no specific boss - so my partners are colleagues.

Useful skills

Confidence, approachable manner, patience and typing skills for the computer. Good handwriting (yes, I know about our reputation, but unreadable notes are no use to us!).

Cool perks

GPs are technically self-employed, so we make our own perks. You can create your own flexible working hours.

Spill the beans!

I have had to learn some business skills - especially employment law. There is much more to running a practice than knowing the medicine.

Top advice

I love my job, but it took many years of training to get here. It is important to enjoy all the steps along the way, as well as keeping an eye on the goal.

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