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Jonathan McAllister: My Working Life

Published on: 10 Jan 2024

My Working Life: Louise

What did you want to be when you were at school/growing up?

I remember always wanting to be a doctor, since I was very small. Originally it was a brain surgeon then once at medical school it switched to obstetrics and gynaecology. Ultimately, I realised that I actually enjoyed most specialities so settled on primary care.


Can you describe your work in 1 sentence?

I provide high quality, equitable primary care to some of the most vulnerable people in society.


What 3 factors make you skip into work?

  1. The variety of medical scenarios.

  2. The ability to make a difference.

  3. The team work we have.


How do you balance work and family life?

With difficulty, you have to set boundaries and keep within them.


Why would you recommend your career to a young person?

Varied, challenging, rewarding.


What was your best career move?

Choosing to go into general practice.


What skills and experience from your earlier career have you found useful in your current profession?

  1. Completing the RCGP Management of Substance Misuse Certificate (Parts I and II).

  2. My senior house officer (SHO) roles in psychiatry and A&E.

  3. Working for the Metropolitan Police as a forensic examiner.


What’s the best advice you’ve ever got from a work colleague?

Listen to patients, give them your time and understanding.


If you could go back in time and give one piece of career advice to your younger self, what would it be?

I wouldn't change anything.


If there was one thing you could change about your role or the physical or policy environment you work in, what would it be and why?

Better living conditions for our patients. They still remain locked in small cells in Victorian prisons for most of the day.


What do you hope will be your legacy to your profession and colleagues?

Treat everybody equally and with kindness.


Is the thought of retirement a dream or a nightmare?

It’s a way off at this moment. When it comes, I think I would definitely need a hobby.


What do you do to relax/de-stress?



What is your guiltiest pleasure?



Where are you happiest?

Walking in the peaks or at the ballet.


Your most treasured possession and why?

My phone.


What is the most dangerous situation you have ever found yourself in?

When a disgruntled patient waited for me by my car outside my general practice surgery.



Jonathan McAllister graduated from Liverpool Medical School in 1996, both with a medical degree and an intercalated BSc in anatomy/human biology. He then worked for one year as a house office at Warrington District General Hospital, followed by a year as a senior house officer (SHO) in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at St Helens Hospital

In 1998, he moved to London and spent a year as a SHO in genitourinary medicine (GUM)/HIV at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust followed by another year as a SHO in Obs & Gynae at the Royal Free before embarking on general practice training. He completed his Registrar year in Balham, before joining the Hurley Clinic in South London where he began working with drug and alcohol patients

Jonathan began work as a forensic medical examiner at the Metropolitan Police and was a partner at a practice in south east London for ten years before moving to work full time in healthcare in prisons. He is currently lead GP for London at Practice Plus Group, responsible for His Majesty’s prisons (HMPs) Belmarsh, Thameside, Brixton, Pentonville and Wormwood Scrubs, as well as Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs) at Gatwick and Heathrow.