Dr Raj Khanchandani

© Raj Khanchandani

I always wanted to be a GP like my dad. Even as a teenager, I would sometimes fill in as a receptionist for my father. I feel as though I have been part of the NHS since I was a child! I qualified here in the UK in 1976. After a few years of hospital work and getting my MRCP, I became a GP in 1981, and joined my father as a partner. I have been working in the same Luton practice ever since. 

In my father’s time, there was that love between GPs and their patients. I get irritated sometimes because all my consultations start with, ‘Dr Raj. How are you? How’s your mother?’ And then they will tell me stories about my dad. And by this time, five minutes are gone. It’s only a ten-minute consultation. Then, of course, you’ve got three problems to sort out!


But it’s real family medicine – we have families that have been patients in our practice since the forties, and they love the fact that they have been seeing a GP from the same family since 1964."

I’m in the generation that’s seen a really big change in general practice. Right up to 1990, general practice in England was basically reactive. You would treat patients for a cough and cold but you wouldn’t find out about their other health problems. Most patients went to hospital for things like high blood pressure. But now 90 to 95 percent go to general practice. 

I think consultants now know that we do good work and they also know we do things they can’t do, like spend time talking to patients.