GP for Sir David Attenborough inspiring others into the career

A GP who supported Sir David Attenborough as he filmed the hit show Our Planet hopes her work will encourage more people to consider a career in general practice. 

Dr Lucy Obolensky travelled to the Masai Mara in Kenya and Chernobyl, Ukraine to support Sir David during filming for the show, which topped the first Netflix viewer ratings table.

The role seems far removed from her daily duties as a GP and clinician at the University of Plymouth, but Lucy explained how her part in injury and illness prevention was key.

Her comments come just days after the news that the UK is 1,500 GPs down.

Dr Obolensky said: 

“Travelling to Chernobyl and to Kenya to support David and the production team was an incredible experience. I put together all the medical kits and carried out advanced medical training with guides and wider team. Thankfully David was very fit and healthy during both trips. An important part of my role is injury and illness prevention, it’s vital people realise how important primary care is.

“In my day-to-day work, I work as a locum GP and Emergency Department doctor and although it’s very challenging, it’s an incredibly rewarding job. Being able to take my skills to remote areas, and look after national treasures like David, is brilliant. Becoming a GP can open so many doors so, coupled with an interest in global and remote healthcare, I want people to realise how far it can take you. I’m very grateful to Silverback Productions, which produced the show, for giving me the opportunity to come along and support the filming.”

'Our Planet' is not the first time Dr Obolensky has supported Sir David Attenborough.

She previously supported Sir David and his team as they filmed Planet Earth II in 2016, and also became an inaugural Fellow of the British Exploring Society alongside Sir Ranulph Fiennes last year.

Find out more about Lucy's previous work with Sir David

Since 2000, she has completed more than 20 expeditions, including to Africa, South and Central America, India, Tibet and Vietnam. She was the medic for the Help for Heroes Kilimanjaro Summit and she also teaches advanced medical skills to explorers and expedition leaders at the Royal Geographical Society and the BBC.

Dr Obolensky concluded: 

“As well as my GP work, it’s a privilege to be part of the Global and Remote Healthcare team at the University of Plymouth. Our Global Health Collaborative is working with international partners to make a difference all over the world. The conference on Friday 24 May is set to be a really exciting event, so please do register and see how to get involved with a wide variety of projects.”

Global Health Collaborative

Created in 2016, the Global Health Collaborative (GHC) represents the coming together of individuals and organisations with an interest in global health issues.

Further information about GHC