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In Practice with Dr Jean-Pierre Cantin, Lincolnshire

Debbie Andalo visits Grimsby to profile a GP and his practice.

HOW DID YOU START IN GENERAL PRACTICE?

When I was five I said I wanted to be a doctor. For me it was always general practice, ever since I saw the GP coming to visit my grandmother.

WHAT IS LIFE IN YOUR PRACTICE LIKE?

I am a salaried GP and have been here for just over 18 months. I came to the UK from France, after reading an article in a French newspaper about working here as a GP.

I wasn't very happy with general practice in France because I felt that the social security system was fighting against us. Here, GPs are part of the NHS - we are partners in the job. In France I did everything alone but here it is quite different with nurses, health visitors, secretaries and receptionists.

I find it better because I can practise more medicine.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE LOCAL AREA?

Grimsby used to be the most important fishing port in England. It's not a wealthy district and there are many factories but the people are quite friendly, which is good.

I used to work in Bordeaux so the weather here is different.

WHAT IS THE IMPACT ON YOU AND YOUR PRACTICE?

The main thing that has amazed me is how many people are obese here.

In France, you would stare at them in the street if you saw them. Otherwise I see the same kind of clinical things I saw in France.

WHAT IS THE MAIN ISSUE FACING YOUR PRACTICE?

The premises are too small - the surgery is two old houses that have been extended.

WHAT IS AN AVERAGE DAY IN PRACTICE FOR YOU?

I arrive by 8.20am and see a patient every 10 minutes. In France, I would see a patient every 20 minutes.

I finish at 11.30am, then it's paperwork and usually one visit; in France I would have had four or five. I then have lunch and return at 3.30pm, do more paperwork, then have another surgery. I finish at about 6.30pm.

WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT THE JOB?

I would not go back to France to work as a GP - it's better to be a GP in England at the moment than in France.

WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT THE JOB?

I can have a relationship with my patients and my colleagues, who have been very helpful.

HOW DO YOU SEE THE PRACTICE DEVELOPING?

For the first time, the practice is now training medical students from Hull and York.

HOW IS THE QUALITY FRAMEWORK WORKING IN YOUR PRACTICE?

I think it has been good, but I have only ever known the new contract here.

WHEN DO YOU PLAN TO RETIRE?

I am 48 now and do not plan to retire soon. When I first came here I planned to be here until retirement.

ARE ANY OF YOUR CHILDREN FOLLOWING IN YOUR FOOTSTEPS?

Our 17-year-old daughter is thinking about being a doctor. I wouldn't want her to be a doctor in France but over here I think it is a good career choice.

WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME?

We enjoy walking at the seaside, although it's not as nice as Bordeaux. I also go to a gym.

MY PRACTICE
Partners: five including a salaried GP
Patients: 7,200
Year of graduation: 1985
Location: Birkwood Surgery, Grimsby, North-East Lincolnshire

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