What role(s) do you hold at the moment?

I am a GP in a rural practice in Wiltshire, Clinical Leadership Fellow at Wessex LMCs, Clinical Lead for a diabetes transformation project across Wessex, palliative care GP doc for weekend cover at a hospice and part time primary school teacher while schools are closed!

What brings you the most joy at work?

Working and connecting with people – be that friends, colleagues or patients.

Dr Julia Hempenstall

What is your biggest challenge?

Usually juggling everything, I am a person who is always looking for opportunities and doesn’t say no to anything so my diary can get a bit hectic. Life in lockdown has been a change in the pace of life but it has remained varied, inspiring and mostly fun. Juggling the home contract to include home-schooling 3 children has definately provided the biggest challenge recently.

What’s the best leadership/career advice that you’ve ever recieved?

Oh that is hard to distil into “the best”, especially as the Next Generation GP programme gives you the opportunity to hear so much!! My top favourites are: It is often easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. Always aim to be the “best you” even in testing scenarios. Surround yourself with a great team. Recognise and understand your personal strengths so you can use them wisely and don’t have to try to be someone you are not, because ultimately that is exhausting and unsustainable. Investment in self growth is not self-indulgent – look for coaching opportunities and find a mentor. Use 10% of your income keeping your household going!

Who do you look up to? 

I am very fortunate to have had so many role models in my medical career to date and many who I currently work with. Before General Practice I spent 4 years living in New Zealand and I have since developed a leadership crush on their prime minister Jacinda Ardern. I find her compassionate leadership inspiring to watch.

What would you like to achieve by the end of your career?

A balance that has left me with a satisfied feeling that I have made a difference across all parts of my life.

What have you learned about yourself in lockdown?

I am not a good primary school teacher for my own children, it is ok “to just be” meaning I can find happiness and fulfillment without rushing around all the time, I am not very good at icing cakes, I do miss human face to face company but you can achieve so much on a video call so I can see that without driving around I will be able to fit in even more when lockdown relaxes!

What are you reading at the moment?……and (no judgement) the last film you watched..

Lockdown has been good for reading as I am finally reading “Black Box Thinking” by Matthew Syed which was recommended to me ages ago and I am really enjoying it. Last weekend I watched “Knives Out”, and it’s a brilliant who dunnit with a great cast and good twists…I would definately recommend as a good lockdown watch.