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

I’m Rachel and I am a GP ST3 in Sheffield. I do a number of things alongside clinical work.

I run the Trailblazer GP scheme, supporting GPs working in areas of deprivation across Yorkshire and Humber; I sit on the RCGP Health Inequalities Standing Group; and I’m also part of a group of GPs who have created a website called fairhealth.

Fairhealth is a website which provides an educational resource for health professionals on health equity.

Rachel Steen

As part of this online resource, I have been developing a podcast (Finding Fairhealth) interviewing experienced colleagues sharing some inspirational and interesting stories on some of the challenges and solutions to tackling health inequity. I also tweet about health inequity so do get in touch!

What brings you the most joy at work?

Put simply, working with likeminded colleagues to improve the lives of others. If I feel like I have made even a tiny step to achieve that then Iusually finish the day with a smile.

What is your biggest challenge?

At the moment it is thinking about practical ways in which we can minimise the impact of Covid on those who are most vulnerable. We are already seeing that the most vulnerable are feeling the worst impacts of this disease. I am concerned about the long term ramifications of lockdown too.

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

Wow this is a big question and I could probably write an interview answer for this if I was pushed! In reality I hope to feel proud of the contribution I have made to society and still be in good enough health to have some fun in retirement.

What have you learned about yourself in lockdown?

I am not someone who finds it easy to stop and slow down but lockdown has rather enforced this. I have noticed spring flowers and new lambs in the fields more than ever. I have read more, painted a few pictures, and spent more time with my husband too. There is something rather soothing when I am not at work knowing that there is no fear of missing out or nowhere else to be.

What are you reading at the moment?

I have just finished reading Nancy Klein’s “Time to Think”. I have been dipping in and out of this book for ages. Lockdown seemed an appropriate time to finish it. Her concepts are simple but I’ve already noticed a huge impact on how I think about conversations, meetings and decisions in and outside work. For anyone, who likeme, finds it difficult to prioritise stopping and taking time to think, this is a good ‘un.

……and (no judgement) the last film you watched..

My husband and I are keen fell runners so we watched a film about a runner called Kilian Jornet summiting Everest in (nearly) record time. He arrives in the middle of the night and has to run straight back down so doesn’t get much chance to look at the view. It seemed such a shame after all that effort. His achievement is incredible but I did wonder about all the sacrifices he made to get there and why he was so driven to achieve this. It reminded me to think about the ‘why’ in what I do and alsohow important it is to enjoy the journey and view on the way there. I also definitely don’t fancy climbing Mount Everest, I’ll stick to slowly plodding up hills in the peak district!

Who do you look up to? 

I am currently working with a leader who I know believes in me. They manage to be supportive and allow me to explore my own interests and opportunities but also hold me to account with high expectations. I don’t think they have ever forgotten to say thank you for something I have done or ask me how I am when we haven’t caught up for a while. It’s the small things that make a big difference.