01 Dec GP Bloggers Corner #2: Dr Shubs Upadhyay
Our second first blogger is Dr Shubs Upadhyay. Shubs is a GP in London and he is co-creator of myGPevents and host of 2 GPs in a Pod. If you would like to be showcased in this section of GP View, just email Ema or Mark.
Subs in his own words: I am a Portfolio GP and I am interested in what is outside the box. I work as a GP in an Emergency Department, am Clinical Lead at a Healthcare startup. I have worked as a medic on a dive site and as a Doctor in resource-poor and remote settings. Passionate about Medical Education, Innovation and General Awesomeness.
Why did you start blogging?
As a Portfolio GP that mainly locummed, I felt a real disconnect and isolation from my peers. I initially co-created a website called myGPevents to help address some of that lack of connection to help GPs find CPD/networking events around them. Through this, I met lots of colleagues who were doing incredible things, but at the same time, I was really conscious of the very real, palpable narrative of GPs and other clinicians ‘burning out’ and leaving the profession. Sometimes people think that the only way to connect with your passion/be entrepreneurial is to leave medicine. That can be the case, but it is not the only option.
I wanted to tell the stories of those that despite the difficult landscape we work in, were able to thrive, diversify and think outside the box – but not have to leave practice to do so. It’s about the stories of their passions and challenges to ultimately inspire and help address some of that disconnection and isolation. For me, the best medium was a podcast that feels like a riveting conversation you’re listening to at the pub. Meandering but relevant; inspiring but grounded in the realities of being a generalist currently. And crucially, not feeling like work – something you can listen to and engage with on your commute, whilst you cook or even do your paperwork.
How long have you been blogging for?
I released the first lot of episodes in February 2018. Since the audio has gone live, I have also managed to travel to Skye to do a video/blog combo feature about what it’s like to be a rural GP as well – that was my first written/video content piece and that was released in the summer – it was both challenging and fun.
What do you hope to achieve through your blog?
I would hope that the Podcast helps in some small way with the following:
– Break down silos/Inspire – To inspire my colleagues to see what their peers are doing. Maybe the knock on effect is that someone listening/reading or watching will be catapulted into action for their own innovation/initiative or change.
– Retention – To show that you don’t necessarily have to leave clinical practice completely to be entrepreneurial/follow your passion. I remember one episode where we spoke about GP Partnerships being a great place for innovation to occur in a meaningful and impactful way.
– Recruitment/Awareness – To show colleagues and med students about the richness of Primary care and Generalism, but to be aware of the realities and challenges that work in.
Has anything surprised you since you started?
I think the big thing is how much I have learned myself from all the people I’ve talked to. There is such a wealth of breadth of experience – we can be Generalists in the broadest sense imaginable. There’s always something we can learn from others’ stories and experiences.
Also, I have had to learn video and audio editing myself, as well as web design and basic coding to get this off the ground – so I’ve been surprised looking back at all the (albeit quite rudimentary) skills I’ve gained getting this off the ground.
How do you publicise your blog? Which channels are the most helpful?
I mainly use Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The podcast is on Soundcloud, iTunes and actually also hosted on 2GPsinaPod.co.uk (you can listen on there with show notes as well). There is a podBlog which is going to have more content on there soon. It was great to have GP View help publicise the rural GP piece as well!
What keeps you going with it?
The opportunity to meet more fantastic colleagues and hear their stories, challenges and how they have succeeded.
What are your plans for the future?
I have a really exciting guest planned in the next few weeks who is a personal inspiration for me – so keep an ear out for that one if you’re into Expeditions and Global Health. There are other awesome guests in the pipeline too, as well as working more on video and written content. Also working on a very cool Live Podcast collaboration event in January.
I have just started on this year’s NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Fellowship – I am hoping to take myGPevents and 2GPsinaPod to the next level as a useful resource for clinicians working in Primary care and have some really exciting things planned to try and get there – so watch this space I guess.
Any tips for colleagues who may be thinking about blogging?
The big tip is if you have something of value to contribute, then just get out there and do it. Also, ask yourself why you want to do this.
A lot of people (myself included) feel fear that a lack of experience or exposure means that people will judge you for mistakes and things you’ve overlooked. However, we can learn so much just from doing. Your early offerings (and maybe all of them!) are always imperfect, but if you listen to people, improve, hone then slowly you’ll get closer to something you’re happy with. Everyone has ideas. The people who are successful put their necks on the line and get stuff out there. So be that person – interested in blogging? Put your first thing out there and see how it lands. Get feedback from people you trust will be constructively honest. Then hone it, put more out there – be curious!