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GPs go forth

GP trainee numbers set to rise next year

The number of GP trainees starting training in August 2013 is set to increase to almost 3,000, according to Department of Health estimates.

Health minister Earl Howe confirmed that the DH expected between 2,869 and 2,953 to begin their training in August, for which applications close on 7 December. This is an increase on this year’s figure of 2,689 and is a step towards meeting the Government’s ambitious target of 3,250 trainees a year by 2015.

The figures revealed that the number of trainees dipped in 2011 to 2,677 from 2,743 in 2010 and 2,695 in 2009.

The figures were revealed in a response to Dr Derek Greatorex, the chairman of  South Devon and Torbay CCG following Earl Howe’s appearance at the NAPC  annual conference. He said: ‘Worryingly there seems to be a reduction in the number of new doctors choosing primary care as a career option.’

RCGP chair Dr Clare Gerada said: ‘We think there should be 20% more GPs by 2022.’ This works out at 10,000 more or about one per practice, she said.
 
She added: ‘I estimated a year ago we have lost 600 full time equivalents from commissioning.’

Readers' comments (10)

  • Newly qualified medical students have a debt of around £80,000. They have to pay this off, live somewhere, get a mortgage if at all possible, have and run a car, have and fund a life, pay around 28% into the NHS pension so they can get a pension at 68 years of age and be controlled by managers telling them which boxes to tick.

    Two questions a) as presumably intelligent people why did they choose medicine as a career? There are so many opportunities elsewhere in this new age of Biotechnology.
    b) Why on earth choose General Practice? It would make far more sense to be hospital based and at least be able to develop a Private Practice to help pay for the list above and allow you to retire before you drop dead on the job.

    I'm off soon :)

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  • The number of GP trainees starting training in August 2013 is set to increase to almost 3,000, according to Department of Health estimates.

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  • And how do we do this with out diluting the quality? Last time we had a surge of numbers any Dr who fell off the hospital ladder because they could not talk to Patients or progress up the ladder came into General Practice. A few made good GPs.

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  • There may be more trainees coming into practice, but will they replace those who are retiring, leaving the country or just cutting their hours due to disillusionment with excessive management demands?
    I trained to be a GP, not a poodle (No disrespect to the dog) who ticks boxes for a regular diminishing return.

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  • Cut pensions,cut take home income,increased workload, frontline to manage patients expectations (with budget cuts),tolerate ever changing goalposts which affect your earning, bear unilateral changes by monopoly contractor (NHS) etc etc are very good ways of attracting talent to General Practice. Good luck to the government who is also presently struggling to recruit the present levels of GP trainees as most of the senior GPs retire at rapid pace or leave for greener pastures which is good for patient care ( according to Government and managers)

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  • Which only goes to show that you can fool all the people all of the time! especially if they happen to be in the top 2% interlect. Come and become a GP and join the rest of us in the utopian branch of medicine! Yeah! Right! you can guess that retirement is tantallisingly close!!

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  • I would advise IMGs not to opt for gp training. They would be just wasting their time and jeopardising their careers as doctors. The painful truth is that it is a white mans exam. IMGs just offer an inconvenience to the royal college and put them in an awkward situation of failing them. They should aim to become staff grades or simple service providers that's what the British Government want them to be.

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  • Rcgp will get more opportunity to make money off IMGs. Please please IMG don't choose Gp training. If u are in foundation yrs then try Aus/Canada or put a little more effort and move to US

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  • I recommend once you have passed the RCGP exam, stop paying annual subs as a protest. It doesn't make an iota of difference apart from the fact that they will tell you that you won't be able to put MRCGP after your name.....Pitiful!

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  • The DH's ambition to increase GP trainee numbers is all good and well, but it will not guarantee that once they qualify, they will practice in areas of most need. What are the DH and professional bodies doing about that?

    The Inverse Care Law still exists. It may even worsen in the current climate of austerity and NHS reforms where morale amongst GPs and other health professions is at rock bottom.

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