Alumna Nirja Joshi, who graduated in Medicine in 2014, has always had an interest in physical wellbeing - particularly dance - and was a member of the cheerleading squad and performed and choreographed for shows during her time at St George’s. After graduating, she completed foundation years in Kent, East Surrey and London and is now completing her GP Vocational Training back at St George’s.
Alongside her training, she is also a part-time dance instructor and has delivered dance fitness sessions to GPs, nurses and pharmacists at her practice. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Nirja has collaborated with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) to provide some free online dance videos designed for staying active at home and in the workplace.
Nirja says, “I have always had an interest in dance and the impact it can have on others. I think it’s really important not to see the workplace, physical health and wellbeing as separate entities, but to integrate movement and wellbeing into the workplace.”
She adds, “I felt that it was important for GPs to be able to look after their own health as well as their patients’ at a time when surgeries are busy and movement is restricted.”
As well as encouraging GPs to stay active in the workplace, she is keen to support the wellbeing of trainee doctors and has been working alongside other GPs on The WorkWell doctors – a platform providing free and paid resources on a range of topics dealing with emotional and physical wellbeing. The website includes a section on coping during the Covid-19 pandemic with notecards which highlight key advice and tips on coping strategies, also directing the reader to useful free online materials. There are also links to online support sessions, with a recovery webinar series coming soon.
Nirja says, “This is a very odd time for anyone to start out as a doctor. I was keen to help emotionally support new trainees through these difficult times and wanted to make sure that trainees had easy access to resources that could help them look after their wellbeing.”
You can follow Nirja on Instagram at @doctor_dancing.