St George's alumnus Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of General Practioners, returned to the university to meet staff and students.
Professor Stokes Lampard qualified in Medicine from St George’s in 1996 and then decided to move into general practice.
Now she combines her role as an academic, a GP and also as Chair of the RCGP since November 2016.
During her day at St George’s, Professor Stokes-Lampard met the university’s GP academic group, discussing her career and how the social and clinical mix of a GP’s life had strongly attracted her to the profession.
She set out the RCGP’s thoughts about the future of primary care in the UK.
She discussed Professor Val Wass’s report ‘By choice - not by chance’ which investigated how general practice is taught in medical schools and promoted as a career with academics.
Professor Stokes-Lampard proposed a more collaborative approach with the RCGP, encouraging medical schools generally to strengthen primary care education in the curricula and in leadership roles.
She also delivered a presentation as part of the ‘GP Grand Rounds’ series of lectures to students and staff. She highlighted her time at St George's and how her own career had developed. She suggested to students that while it was important to have a career plan, they should also be open to opportunities that arose.
Later she went on to reveal key clinical cases from her own experience which illustrated important areas such as deviation from clinical guidelines, thinking outside the box and putting the patient at the centre of all care decisions.
Dr Zahra Al-Raweshidy of the GP Grand Rounds team said. "Overall it was a very insightful and inspiring presentation which was very well-received by students and faculty alike".
Professor Stokes-Lampard commented that wherever she went around the country in her role she met St George's alumni and was able to share stories about her time here.
After meeting Corey Briffa, the SU President, she finished her day with an appointment with St George’s Principal, Professor Jenny Higham.
Professor Higham said: “While the GP profession may be going through difficult times at present, she is just the inspiring leader needed – so clearly able to articulate the career positives for today’s young doctors.”