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Training bosses launch GP work experience scheme for sixth formers

Sixth form students will be able to get a taste of general practice, thanks to a new work experience scheme developed by health education bosses in one of the country’s most under-doctored regions.

Health Education East Midlands is piloting the scheme in Nottinghamshire, offering three to five day placements to students younger than 18 and considering a career in medicine.

Prospective medics will work in training practices and have opportunities to sit in on consultations with patient consent and experience teaching activities.

The scheme aims to help them ‘discover the reality of modern day general practice’ and placements will be extended across the region in the next 12 months.

In the recruitment advert, HEEM states that ‘general practice is a challenging and rewarding career.’

And says that, that whatever students might hear about primary care medicine, ‘it is for the more able and resilient. Your life will critically cross the lives of many and enable a deeper understanding of yourself and those you care for.’

The advert adds: ‘The placements will ensure that you have first-hand experience of all clinical and teaching activities in the practice. Many of these practices train nursing and medical students, foundation doctors and future general practitioners who will be able to give you first hand career advice.’

A spokesperson for HEE told Pulse: ‘Students will be sitting on consultations but only if patient gives consent. They will not be placed in the practice that they are a patient at.’

The East Midlands is one the areas hardest hit by the current GP workforce crisis, with around 47% of GP training places filled in time for this year’s August intake.

Training bosses have been working to boost exposure to general practice at all levels, after the RCGP met medical schools last year to discuss their ‘toxic anti-GP culture’.

Readers' comments (4)

  • And how is that going to help?
    Hospital teams do not run without juniors. Specialist minded or GP minded trainees are still needed for the service to run. 6 formers will still go through medical school and training years being told that GP land is where those lesser doctors end up.
    All doctors should work in GP as they have to in hospitals to qualify in any specialty- hahahaha like that's gonna happen!

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  • The new generation of students have to have some limited clinical exposure and gain some insight somehow. The are not all going to come from generations of doctor households.

    Some genuinely able candidates do not have the contacts or knowledge to jump through the hoops required to get onto a medical training course and this will be a welcome avenue for many.

    Perhaps these same students will relish GP land and find solutions to the problems encountered in primary care after qualification.

    Its better than the present lucky dip approach to gaining work experience.

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  • It'll really useful for anyone wanting to get into medical school. They enter medical school and they'll then realise hospital doctors get their lunch, get time to talk to a patient, see their children most evening, get paid more, are not considered failures or idiots, do not get shouted at by patients for spending too much time or not enough time with their patients.......and GPs have entirely the opposite experience.
    They will also realise if they cannot get into their chosen specialty they can simply emigrate to countries that appreciate them and allow them to follow their dream careers. They realise they don't have 'to settle' for general practice.
    So I predict these 17 year olds, when they are FY2's deciding in 8 years time, will avoid general practice and the absolute misery that comes with this job.

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  • RCGP should not try to spin the problems away to the medical schools, if they were doing their job properly things would not be so bad.

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