GP and media personality Dr Ellie Cannon talks to us about being a mum, health and her career so far
Ellie is the resident GP for the Mail on Sunday, Mail online and Woman magazine and writes regularly for other titles including Cosmopolitan and The Spectator magazine. She also has a regular health column in The Jewish News.
We are very grateful to Ellie for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for us.
What things do you regard as being the highlight of your career so far?
Well in my media career it would certainly be publishing my book. I had wanted to write a calming book for new mums for a decade so it was hugely satisfying to get that message out. In my general practice career, there are highs and lows every day. Sometimes the simplest things are the highlights – getting a patient back on their feet can be enough.
Are there things you have to be careful of being a high profile media Doctor?
I am a genuine NHS doctor with real patients who have real needs and concerns. I never forget that even when broadcasting – my professional integrity is maintained when the cameras are on.
What do you regard as being most important things to eat for good health today?
Real food. If you don’t understand what the ingredients are on the side of a food packet, you shouldn’t be eating it.
What 5 things to you do every day to look after your own health?
I can’t pretend to be too virtuous as we all have our vices, even doctors!
But I TRY to
1. Eat porridge
2. Exercise (even just a walk)
3. Eat lots of veggies
4. Laugh with my kids which is great for stress levels
5. Sleep at least 7 hours.
What things are the most challenging today for a new GP?
General practice is hugely rewarding but comes at a big emotional price to you as an individual. You are faced with terrible sadness and tragedy from patients, and looking after yourself mentally can be hard. You have to find ways to avoid being drained emotionally so you can cope with the next day.
What things would you advise a sixth form student to do if they want to be a Doctor?
Spend as much time as you can in hospitals, GP surgeries but also an old people’s home, pharmacy, even a hospice. You need to see the reality of patients’ lives and doctors’ work – it is a far cry from the glamorous depiction on telly!
What things would you say to a new mum?
Keep calm! There is a plethora of so called advice out there, and most of it is drivel. Vaccination and putting your baby to sleep on their back are the most important rules to adhere to.
Ellie’s book Keep Calm: The New Mum’s Manual: Trust Yourself and Enjoy Your Baby is available to buy here.
To find out more about Ellie and her work please check out her website.
Interview by David Ridings