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The waiting game

'GP assistants' can give wrong impression

The GPC warned that patients should be told GP assistants are not fully qualified doctors (News, February 9) and they are not doctors.

Are the medical defence organisations going to be content to cover the increased risk associated with doctors working with these assistants?

I do not feel they should be called GP assistants as it gives the impression of medical qualifications that they clearly do not have.

At a time of increasing problems with recruitment and retention, what message does this send out to medical students and junior doctors who may be considering a career in general practice?

It would appear to imply that an individual can gain the necessary skills to undertake GP work in two years except for prescribing. Having spent nine years in training to qualify as a GP I find this insulting.

If the Government wants to ease the recruitment crisis it should take measures to recognise the valuable contribution GPs make to the NHS, raise the feeling of professional worth and reward them appropriately.

Dr Giles Manchester


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