The Many Roles of the Physician in an Ireland Family Practice
Currently, there are more than 2,500 general practitioners in Ireland. While it may seem like a large number, there’s a growing demand for physicians in Ireland family practices.
While the country’s population has always steadily grown, in 2018, it experienced the largest annual population increase since 2008. This means physicians are high in demand.
If you’re a GP and have been wondering about opportunities overseas, then you’ll want to consider a career in this country. Not only would you help fill an in-demand position, but you’d also get the chance to experience a whole new lifestyle.
In this article, we’ll describe the many roles of the physician in an Ireland family practice.
As a doctor in Ireland, one of your most obvious duties is to diagnose illnesses. Anything from a slight cough to a serious case of strep throat, you’re the doctor your patients trust in to find the root cause of their issues and prescribe the proper course of action.
You must be adept at telling the difference between a harmless ailment that can be resolved quickly in your office, or a more serious underlying symptom of a disease.
Gate-keep for Specialists
As a GP, you act as the gatekeeper for specialists. You have the extremely important job of passing on patients to the appropriate specialist if you feel they’d benefit from the care of these doctors.
You may have to see a large number of patients in one day, all with different complaints. It’s your duty to pinpoint which of these patients need to be sent on to specialists to get the best treatment possible.
There’s a delicate balance between sending too little and too many onto specialists. Send too little on, and your patients may not get the care they require. But send too many on, and it may put some stress on the public health care system.
Attend to the Walk-In Clinic
Some family practices may have walk-in clinics which serve the public without the requirement of an appointment. It may be standard for physicians to take turns attending the clinic so the others can focus on their patients.
This gives you an opportunity to help the local community out, as many people have ailments that they just can’t wait for. Gone are the days where patients come to the practice with just one complaint. Today, it’s standard for them to have multiple symptoms, all unrelated to one another.
Attending to the walk-in clinic gives you a chance to reach out to patients who normally don’t come to you. You can make a real difference in their lives by urging them to regularly look after themselves and follow lifestyle changes to turn their health around.
Fill out Paperwork
What many general practitioners don’t expect in their careers is the amount of paperwork they have to fill out. In fact, many GPs dedicate hours of their days to this task, and even then, they still can’t finish it all. So you should expect to spend a decent amount of your daily routine on filling out paperwork for your patients.
For example, they may ask you for help with forms, such as ones for carer’s allowance, disabled parking, travel companion forms, and medical card applications. Many of these applications can make a tremendous difference in your patients’ lives, so it’s vital you dedicate the appropriate amount of time to reading through and filling out these forms.
Another duty that comes standard with being a physician is filling out prescriptions. Not only do you need to diagnose your patients, but you must prescribe the correct medications in the right increments of time.
While the hustle and bustle of the family practice can be overwhelming at times, it’s vital you remember to fill prescriptions as needed, or else risk a decrease in quality of life for your patients.
It’s recommended that you set time aside to fill prescriptions as you would with paperwork. It may be optimal to combine the two tasks and prioritise prescriptions to ensure your patients don’t go without their necessary medications.
The health of your patients and their families rest entirely in your hands. As their GP, you’re responsible for the screening and assessment of their health, year after year. As a result, it’s common for you to see patients ever since they’re infants until they’re well into their adult lives.
Because of this, you often develop a relationship with them. Your patients look up to you and trust that you’re providing them with the best care possible.
When it comes to difficult decisions, such as whether or not to pursue chemotherapy for cancer, the GP is often the first medical professional patients turn to.
You should be prepared for your patients to treat you like a close confidante, meaning you need to have an excellent bedside manner. While medicine can be a cold, hard subject, it needs to be combined with compassion and patience so your patients have peace of mind.
Not only can GP’s refer their patients to specialists for further care, but they can also help with other necessities in life. For instance, physicians can assist their patients by writing referrals for things like housing support.
Often, patients not only have severe physical issues, but also mental ones. This is a major factor in people going homeless, and with that, they wouldn’t receive the medical care they need.
By writing referrals for those in need, you can help keep your patients off the street and get them the necessary care to put them in a better place.
Care for Both Private and Public Patients
While there is a public health care system in Ireland, some patients can choose to pay for private care. As a result, you’ll see both private and public patients at the Ireland family practice you’re at.
Whether you open up your own practice or find employment at a currently operating one, it’s essential you treat all patients the same. They’re all there to get quality healthcare, and you’re there to provide it for them.
Refer Patients to Urgent Care
At times, you’ll receive patients who are in need of urgent care, even if they don’t realise it. It’s up to you to make the swift decision to refer those people to urgent care to get their issues promptly taken care of.
Not only does this affect these patients themselves, but it also affects the ones who already have appointments and are waiting to be seen. The quicker you are at identifying an urgent case, the better it is for all parties involved. The patients who need immediate care will receive it and the ones waiting won’t have their appointments delayed.
Coordinate With Pharmacies
Yes, you are the physician who fills prescriptions. But you’re also the one who coordinates with pharmacies to ensure medications are promptly given to patients.
As a GP, you have the role as ambassador when it comes to all sorts of medical professionals and institutions. Many patients don’t have advocates, which means their care may fall to the wayside at times. It’s your responsibility and duty to make sure all patients receive adequate healthcare.
Help Fill a Critical Shortage
Not only is there a shortage of GP’s in Ireland, but there’s also a significant number of them retiring in the near future. Without proper filling of this important position, the country is set to see a decrease in the quality of healthcare.
Seeing as there’s a dire need for physicians, you can make a critical difference in the well-being of Ireland’s population.
The Physician Is Crucial to an Ireland Family Practice
As you can see, physicians have to wear many hats when it comes to practising in an Ireland family practice. Although they must take on many roles, they get to fully care for their patients. As long as you maintain a good work-life balance, then it can be a highly rewarding experience.
So if you’re a physician and you’re considering working in Ireland, it can be a great opportunity to explore. Whether you’ve never visited the country or you’ve regularly come on holiday, Ireland has plenty to offer, both career-wise and in daily life.
Thinking it’s time to get out of your home country and explore the world? Then consider a medical career here in Ireland.
If you’d like to work in Ireland as a physician, then please take a look at the current jobs that are available. We have both locum and permanent positions available.