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Dr Claire Bailey says the flexibility of modern general practice has allowed her to plan a family ­ and spend six months yachting round the world.

Dr Bailey, a GP in Yelverton, Devon, is one of a growing number of doctors who have chosen a portfolio career in general practice.

Having previously worked for the Royal Navy, she is about to take up a salaried civilian medical practitioner post with the RAF, while

continuing to do GP locum sessions.

She said general practice has become progressively more attractive compared with hospital work, with the ability to drop out-of-hours work in the new GMS contract more important than money.

'GPs and consultants are paid the same so that didn't drive me,' she said. 'You could become a GP much quicker and it's just allowed me to take six months off to sail around the world.'

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