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We resent RCGP's slurs on locum performance

We have become increasingly concerned about the frankly insulting comments being made by RCGP officers concerning the performance of GP locums.

At a recent talk given by college chair Professor David Haslam we were told that he felt young doctors who became locums only did so as a form of extended training before taking up a principal's post. This implies that he believes young locums to be clinically deficient and in need of further training.

As if that was not a bad enough slur, we are now being told by college president Professor Dame Lesley Southgate (Pulse, November 11) under the headline 'GPs comprise third of the referrals for poor performance' that 'becoming a locum might be the early sign of a doctor's career having a problem'. The RCGP seems to be propagating the notion that being a principal is the only 'proper' job to have in general practice.

When will it wake up to reality and realise that being a principal is not the only legitimate career to follow? After vocational training we both chose to become locums for lifestyle reasons and resent the implication that we are somehow clinically suspect GPs whose careers are having problems.

Yes there are poorly performing locums, but then again there are plenty of poorly performing principals. The RCGP should not belittle certain groups of GPs but should be

supporting all of the profession at this time of recruitment crisis.

Dr Simon Fisher and

Dr Katharina Frey

Locums, Newcastle upon Tyne

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