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One third of GPs wouldn't choose general practice again

One third of GPs would reconsider their career choice if they were given their time again, according to a survey of the profession by the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

The crisis in Scottish Primary Healthcare report, which includes responses from 382 Scottish GPs, roughly one twelfth of the GP population, found that a majority (42%) would still go into the profession, but a significant number (33%) have said they would advise their junior selves down another path.

The report also showed:

  • Just 4% of GPs think their current work load is manageable;
  • 53% of GPs think QOF should be abolished, which the Scottish LMCs conference voted for earlier this year;
  • And the inappropriate and unresourced transfer of work and general workload were the top issues for GPs, with the least pressing issue ‘job security’.

In additional comments after the survey one GP noted: ‘[The Scottish Government] do not have a clue as to the time-bomb about to hit them with GP numbers.’

The report concludes: ‘It is to be regretted that the Scottish Government was unaware of this looming crisis and appears to continue to deny that the crisis even exists. The impact of this crisis is being felt far and wide and the problems that have been allowed to develop are deep rooted.’

This comes after reports last week showed almost a million consultations were carried out by GP out-of-hours services in Scotland last year, and practices struggling to meet demand either closing or reducing their lists.

Readers' comments (26)

  • I wasn't asked to take part in this survey. As a GP who works in Scotland I absolutely wouldn't choose General Practice if I had my time again. I niavely thought I would enter a profession in which i would practically work in the job I had been trained to do. What an absolute joke!

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  • Its a S£$t profession, the dumping ground for all and and sundry surrounded by a cesspit of.....you get it. don't do it, Wouldn't have done it. Wish had never done it. Won't ever do it again.

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  • I wouldn't have. As a newly salaried GP I am constantly feeling under pressure to help with the ever increasing non clinical workload. Aside from bulging surgeries and visits, mountains of docman, prescriptions, and calls, there is the extra CES/DES/QOF stuff to fight off. it's a joke

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  • I would be a GP again it is a great job just not in Britain or in a service controlled by politicians

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  • I thought the sun shone out of Nicola Surgeons arse what has gone wrong in the people's republic

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  • 2/3rds will choose GP again?Wow what an optimistic bunch.So all this talk of a crisis in morale has to be alot of hot air.Clearly things can't be all that bad in GP land.I guess the government knew that all along.Sorry GPC you've got to try a different tactic because nobody buys the story of the "poor overworked GP"

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  • I think general practice is interesting, varied, and the continuity of care with a personal list is great. I'd do it again.

    Just don't ask me to do it for more than three days a week; one of my partners does and he appears to be one GANFYD short of spontaneous combustion on a duty doctor day. Or any other day come to think of it.

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  • I would do general practice if I had my time over again. It was a very good job in those days. I worked hard, earned well, and looked forward to each day. I would, however, get out after 15 years and throw myself into a different line of work. My mistake wasn't starting in the job, it was hanging on optimistically in the hope of improvement long after we'd been sold down the river.

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  • my locum agency gives some lessons in GPs dress sense…and your make up is so tacky.

    old haggards in a baby dress….we can secure a good job for you …if you have a lovely figure

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  • Count me in and I would go further. I would discourage my children and anyone I know from choosing general practice.

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  • Never!!!!

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  • Bob Hodges

    I WOULD choose General Practice if I had my time again, because I'm not naive enough to think the hospital doctors and surgeons have it any better in this country.

    I love most of the work and patients, but I hate the way it's all packaged up and dumped on you in increasing amounts every year as your 'job'.

    My honest advice to doctors in training would be to get CCT in General Practice (it's the quickest route to a transferable skill set) and head abroad ASAP. It's not possible to work harder for a lower standard of living (aka 'progressive taxation') in an equivalent country.

    I quite literally missed the boat myself due to an 'unplanned admission' to the maternity suite for my wife soon after qualifying.

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  • I hate calling myself a GP.. For the government and our public, a GP is not a doctor. It is the public's right to mistreat and abuse GPs, and we have to be slaves to the very people we spend 20hrs per day to serve.

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  • @ Bob Hodges
    I disagree.The transferability or "skill set" as you put it is limited to very few countries in the world.All of them in the english speaking first world (apart from USA which has a different system).If you want something that can be applied ANYWHERE in the world then it has to be surgery and hospital medicine.

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  • I will not advice anyone to enter General Practice as long as there is the GP Partnership model and as long as there is payment by capitation.

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  • Well the other 2/3 must be barking mad! Oh to return to the good old days when GPs were merely considered 'failed' Doctprs - we're now considered the lowest of the low. Recruitment crisis? cannot see why….

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  • This comment has been moderated.

  • I agree with 10.44. Hospital medicine / surgery offers you transferable, 'palpable' skills.

    GP is a dumping ground for anything and everything. Increasingly we are becoming Samaritans with a prescription pad; taking responsibility for everyone's requests and wishes.

    Baby vomits 3 x - "the health visitor told me to see you"; pregnant women feels dizzy - midwife - see the GP etc. etc. etc.

    Anyone have any pragmatic solutions that don't involve emigrating?

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  • Now a days GP's are like House officers to the hospital consultants.if the patients need referral to physio they ask them to go to their GP rather they referring them instead;other example is prescribing medicines.
    I think this culture should stop.

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  • If you don't like it just quit and do something else. Your bloody well qualified. For petes sake so many wingers, no wonder most GP's get nailed. Learn to say NO and you will be fine. Grow up people.

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  • The strength and weakness of general practice is the fixed list responsibility so are the fixed point in the health and social care system, which also encompasses education employment insurance housing and public health. The strength is the relationship and respect from the community served (not the popularist press). The weakness is the buck stops at the surgery as you can't discharge a patient and the responsibility remains. What needs to be made clear is what GP's are responsible for as there is no absolute clarity. Succession of new measures to improve workload by getting Paramedics or Pharmacists or 111 to help just seems to put more urgency on the GP to see and take the responsibility.
    I love the job and am fairly strict on boundaries so don't absorb everyone else's problems, but honestly would not encourage my children to do it.

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  • Hospital medicine / surgery offers you transferable, 'palpable' skills

    Why do so many have chips on their shoulder about their skills.

    Sure if you want a procedure so you can sell that - get one - no one can stop you and get accreditation along the way.

    You certainly won't get a lot of medical specialties having doubts about their skills, particularly ones where they give an opinion.

    If we don't value what we do - no one else will

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  • That only 33% will reconsider being GPs is really not a bad resul given the circumstances!

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  • Bob hodges is correct and I can attest to it because i've walked the walk and left the UK; I was a GP partner early 30's, fed up at being kicked around and at being disrespected.

    Your GP skills in the UK are actually palpable skills, you don't realize because you've forgotten; Actually in MANY of the English speaking countries you mention GP's can do hospital work- my misses does obs/gynae work and delivers babies. GPs in Canada can actually become consultants in A+E with a few years experience. you have transferrable skills and they are much much more maneuverable than that of hospital specialists because jobs in general practice can be found anywhere, whereas a consultant can only get a job in a hospital if it has vacancies. Your limited only by your own mindset folks; Ive met GP's here who've become addiction specialists, sports medicine specialists,..... REMEMBER YOUR NOT JUST WHO THE BRITISH MAKE YOU THINK YOPU ARE!!!!!! WAKE UP AND REMEMBER WHAT YOU HAVE, WHAT YOU ARE CAPABLE OF!!!!!
    JUST BECAUSE YOUR A PEN PUSHING REFERRAL MONKEY WHO GETS DUMPED ON OVER THERE, DOESNT MEAN THATS WHAT YOU ARE ELSEWHERE!!!!!
    WAKE UP WAKE UP WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!! your skills are bloody awesome........!!
    ex gp partner/ MRCGP (and yes im keeping it even though I aint paid my subs!!!)

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  • I admit it's not to everyone's liking.Coprophilia is an acquired taste

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  • I would not encourage my children or anyone else to do medicine in the UK at all at the present time.Never mind general practice.They dont value what we do and our commitment,hence the nonce JH going on about 7 day working when it has always happened.Hospital senior Drs are also up s+++ creek doing way above their contracted hours to get the job done.Market forces will eventually dictate what we are worth one way or another.

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  • @above
    Market forces will dictate jack shit.Making people pay will be political suicide so the NHS will just be rationed more keeping it free at point of delivery

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