13 Mar Quick chat with …. Dr Hannah Allen
What’s the most unforgettable memory from your practice?
No one single memory stands out alone, there are a few that are particularly poignant. One being of accompanying a sick patient home from the surgery as they had no one to come and help them walk back. I think this demonstrates the complexity of general practice and how the demands are so much more than just treating people’s physical ailments. I think this is so important to remember, and to ensure that patients are treated in a holistic manner with their needs or wants being at the forefront of every consultation.
What advice do you wish you were given in your first year as a GP?
I wish I had been made aware of the other non-clinical options out there and not put as much pressure on myself to be a busy, clinical ’10 session GP’. I think variety in our working lives as GPs is key to retaining our passion for wanting to help people. But as a creative person with other interests in technology, for example, I found that solely doing clinical practice stifled this interest. I think as clinicians it is so important to look after ourselves psychologically and to feel fulfilled in what we do in order to stay healthy and happy.
What’s the most useful thing you have learned as a GP?
The most useful thing I have learned in my current practice is the amazing ways that technology can assist and enhance medical practice. I work on a day to day basis with the most incredible team of scientists, software engineers, clinicians and designers working to create cutting-edge technology to better patients’ and clinicians’ lives. I love every day at work and am constantly blown away by the capabilities of artificial intelligence and find the application of this fascinating.
Work/life balance – is it possible or is it a myth?
I think a work-life balance is so important to establish. Personally, for me, this is especially salient as I have a very young family. My daughter is 3 months old and my son is 2.5 years hence I am very aware of how much they need me. I really believe that in order to feel whole as a human being you need to feel fulfilled in multiple aspects of life, not just work or family life alone. I think it is really important to establish this balance early on depending on what your priorities are and make your career work around this. I am very ambitious so it is extremely important for me to succeed in what I enjoy and thrive career-wise, however, I also do not want to miss out on these amazing years when my children are young as I am well aware I will never get this time back.
Where do you see the future of general practice?
Firstly, I am excited by the future of general practice! I am excited by the application of technology to general practice and the ways that this will enhance our working lives as clinicians. I feel like we are just at the tip of the iceberg with regards to the capabilities of technology in the healthcare sector and am proud to be working at the forefront of this at babylon health.
Dr Hannah Allen – Hannah is a GP lead for babylon health, she works as part of a team of digital health experts. Her experience as a GP on the front line of the NHS has led her to believe the current healthcare structure needs disrupting and this takes the form of cutting-edge artificial intelligence. This will enable GPs to utilise their time more effectively and to focus on the humanistic element of consultations. She is passionate about improving access to healthcare and in particular for women during the antenatal and postnatal phase. Women’s health has long been neglected and with the technology she helps build at babylon she is very optimistic this is changing.