Dr Gursharon Gangotra

Tuesday 11th September 2018 17:36 EDT

I was born in Birmingham to parents who originate from the Punjab, India. I was nicknamed after an epic Bollywood 1970’s movie “Bobby”! Having spent some of my childhood years acting as a make shift Punjabi interpreter for my grandmother at her hospital appointments and went on and made a career for myself in medicine, since it was the longest course available and got me out of having to work at our family retail shop after school. I am still practising today in the West Midlands within an organisation called Your Health Partnership. I have spent the majority of my life in the Midlands and have recently, after much deliberation, got married and now learning to settle in Nottinghamshire. I realised within two weeks that I absolutely hate commuting.

1) Which place, or city or country do you most feel at home in?  

Birmingham is the city I feel most at home. Although, having started to visit India more often since my sister got married in 2005, I feel quite at home in Chandigarh where my grandparents lived, as well as New Delhi since I love the shopping and relaxation spas there.  

2) What are your proudest achievements? 

My proudest moments have changed with time, so apart from the usual academic achievements, I think travelling around the world by myself with just my Lonely Planet Guides and then later on winning BBC2’s The Big Family Cooking Showdown in 2017 with my sister, Lorna Nanda, and sister- in- law, Monika Singh, were equally proud moments.

3) What inspires you? 

Change inspires me and then trying to keep up with the rate of change is my daily challenge! 

4) What has been biggest obstacle in your career? 

I think in hindsight I, myself, have been the biggest obstacle in my career; in not believing enough in what I am capable of achieving and allowing the fear of failing stopping me from pursuing certain paths! 

5) Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? 

Whether or not I like to admit it but it’s my paternal grandfather Mr Doulat Ram who has been my biggest influence. He arrived in the UK with a mere £5 and worked his way up and established a successful business of his own. He achieved far more than I will ever achieve in his lifetime. I’d like to think I derive my work ethic from him directly. He made me do maths calculations at the till to see if my total tallied with his cash register! He is convinced this is what helped me achieve an ‘A’ in my maths A level.

6) What is the best aspect about your current role? 

My current role as a GP allows me to influence and help drive change within primary care but this can take a long time so my best aspect is working with amazing colleagues who have been like family to me for the past 15 years. All striving to offer their best care with opportunities of innovating new clinical models to help provide efficiency in the continuity of care we offer as well as help improving the health of our practice population.  

7) And the worst? 

I’m finding that the nature of this line of work means I find myself unable to switch off. In order to find my current role sustainable, I have had to reduce my hours to cope with the demands of the job. I’d encourage more flexibility within the work place and look at other ways of working to help retain and recruit future clinicians.

8) What are your long term goals? 

To be a GP with a specialist interest in food! I would love to have a pop up restaurant or just cook for fun. I wish to support charitable causes, (that’s if I am ever allowed to retire from the health service). I have much respect and admiration for people like Rav Singh who have chosen to dedicate their entire life to serve those less fortunate through organisations such as Khalsa Aid. 

9) If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change? 

Let’s not even go there, there is not enough space! But to start off with I think everyone who works should have a day off on their birthday as compulsory. 

10) If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why. 

The person I would like to spend time with is not yet historical but is making history is Bear Grylls, apologies to my husband but I have no idea how to survive on a desert island so having him as a desert buddy would be ideal for obvious practical reasons. I can’t hunt or gather unless I’m in the sales’ shopping. 

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