GPs should put their GMC number on prescriptions and headed notepaper to make it easier for patients to check their status, the GMC has advised.
The recommendation came as the council launched its on-line search facility which will reveal GPs who have been suspended or who are subject to conditions.
Finlay Scott, GMC chief executive, said giving out GMC numbers would help patients, particularly if the GP had a common name.
He added: 'Most GPs I have spoken to would see the online doctor search positively in terms of employing a locum. We are providing a good-quality, comprehensive registration system so that quality checks can be
Dr Laurence Buckman, GPC deputy chair, said he could not see the point in giving patients GP registration numbers.
'I am searchable by name and practice, so I don't think it would make it any easier to find me.
'If I was made to do it by
the GMC then I would. If they don't say I must then I wouldn't bother.'