An afternoon with Dr Amir Khan

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Image of Dr Amir Khan with Medicine students
Dr Amir Khan meets with members of Liverpool GP Society at Cedar House

School of Medicine alumnus Dr Amir Khan (MBCHB 2004) went back to his roots in early October, when he took the stage at the Liverpool Literary Festival to speak about his Sunday Times Bestseller The Doctor Will See You Now and read excerpts from this year’ Great Reads competition.

Following his appearance, Dr Amir Khan covered the short distance from the Victoria Gallery and Museum to the School of Medicine’s home on campus, Cedar House, from which he graduated in 2004.

There, he met with Fruzsina Bako, Shambavi Premjeyanth, Brooklyn Wright and Ammaarah Ahmed, all student doctors and members of Liverpool GP Society, for a chat about common interests, career paths, and fond memories.

GP Society: How did you go from being a traditional GP consultant to breakfast television?

Dr Amir Khan: It wasn’t planned, I was quite happy being a GP in Bradford when the TV programme ‘GPs behind closed doors’ approached our practice with intent to film a GP practice in the North. The reason that we out competed other GP practices was that our nurse practitioner made a scrumptious lemon drizzle cake, and that our GP practice has some very animated members of staff who are just amazing. These aspects came across very well. The show was a big success for Bradford and highlighted how well a community can work together.

GP Society: How do you juggle your commitments?

Dr Amir Khan: I don’t have any friends left! I’ve definitely had to make some sacrifices due to time dedicated to travelling etc, but I know that this is what I want to do, therefore dedicating time in this way doesn’t feel like a sacrifice anymore.

GP Society: What is your favourite memory from your time studying at Liverpool?

Dr Amir Khan: Ah, there’s so many! The ‘Raz’ is one that first comes to mind. (The ‘Raz’ is an affectionate local term for Liverpool’s Blue Angel nightclub, notoriously popular with students.) It’s just those random nights where there is a set of bars and you always ended up at the 'Raz'. Throughout university friendship circles change but it is those friends you meet right at the start of university that I still keep in touch with now, even 20 years on.

GP Society: What is the most significant life lesson you learnt during your time at the School?

Dr Amir Khan: I learnt the importance of active listening skills and working in a team. Everyone has different strengths that they bring to a group and appreciating this is important. These skills will be key to working in practice and when talking with patients.

GP Society: What are your top tips for today’s student doctors?

Dr Amir Khan: Get the most out of your placements. I know you can sometimes feel like a nuisance or an extra, and there will be times you will feel like you’re in the way. Healthcare professionals are so busy, but they are also more than happy to support you. Respect your non-doctor colleagues as they are invaluable and experts in their own right. From physiotherapists to occupational therapists to nurses, they have a different but equally important role in facilitating patient care.

GP Society: What’s one thing you wish you would have known before starting as a doctor?

Dr Amir Khan: Don’t think you need to know everything before qualifying, there is no such thing as the perfect doctor. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, you’re always learning and try not to be so hard on yourself. Medics have a habit of being extremely hard on themselves. There may be people saying that you can’t achieve something, do not listen to them! So many people told me I couldn’t be a writer, I couldn’t be a media medic or be a partner at my practice. I didn’t listen to them, I kept trying and trying, and eventually I achieved the goals I had set out. Don’t give up!

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Student Doctor Fruzsina Bako shares, “Meeting Dr Amir Khan was very exciting for all of us because our families have been watching him as a TV doctor for many years. Being a Liverpool grad, he was especially inspiring to all of us.

Being able to interview Dr Amir Khan was an opportunity that none of us thought we’d have, and we found out a lot about his time as a student doctor, and how he got from there to being such a well-known face on British TV.”

Discover more

  • Learn more about the Liverpool Literary Festival on the festival webpages.
  • Follow Dr Amir Khan on Twitter and Instagram and learn more about his journey in our interview with him for our Alumni magazine.
  • Dr Khan’s Sunday Times Bestseller The Doctor Will See You Now is out now in paperback (Ebury Press, £8.99). Pick up a copy from Blackwell’s.