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UK GPs 'the most optimistic in Europe'

British GPs are the most optimistic in Europe, with half generally positive about the direction of medical practice, acccording to research commissioned by Pfizer.

Although administrative and legal burdens are a key negative factor for British GPs, they are subject to lower levels of third-party review than their European colleagues, the report says.

Researchers also credited the findings to the availability of new treatments and techniques and to the prominence of UK academic research.

The survey of 768 European doctors, including 501 GPs, 87 from the UK, also found that 'the practice of medicine itself drives satisfaction'. 49 percent of respondents said that treating patients was the most satisfying part of their job.

Otmar Kloiber, secretary-general of the World Medical Association, said: 'This research shows that across the European Union, physicians are under pressure from too little time with patients and too much time spent on administrative burdens, which they believe can harm patient's health.'

'Nonetheless the majority of doctors remain enthusiastic about their practice, for very often only for altruistic reasons.'

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