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BMA and RCGP demand action to give GPs specialist status

The BMA and RCGP are urging the Government and GMC to take steps to ensure GPs are recognised as specialists and put on equal footing to secondary care doctors.

In a joint statement, GP leaders from each organisation said it was an ‘anachronistic anomaly’ that post-graduate GP training is still not recognised as specialist medical training – unlike in Australia, the USA and Canada, and most of the EU.

The statement, signed by the GPC and RCGP leaders from all four devolved nations, highlighted a recent call from UEMO – the European Union of GPs/Family Physicians) – for all EU countries to recognise general practice as a specialty.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul and RCGP chair Dr Maureen Baker, along with their Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland co-representatives, said that such recognition is now ‘long overdue’.

They wrote: ‘It is an anachronistic anomaly that the postgraduate training of general practitioners remains unrecognised in this respect and we call upon the government and GMC to make the changes necessary to add GPs to the List of Specialists and for the status of GPs to be equal to that of their secondary care colleagues’.

It comes after the GPC warned that Brexit could hamper efforts to give GPs the same status as specialists, because the UK will be excluded from a planned EU directive to enforce the measure.

Readers' comments (11)

  • How about giving specialist status to GP partners, and 'staff grade' status to salaried GPs?
    Specialist status comes with added responsibilities such as financial and governance risks, managerial responsibilities, carrying the can on the busiest days etc.

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  • A specialist generalist?
    Dream on chaps.

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  • Pipin Singh

    I wrote an article back in in 2013 on changing the title to primary care consultant....agree we are specialists in a increasingly complex primary care

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  • Yeah, like that's gonna help. I have enough self worth not to need a specialist title to know my worth.

    May be they should be working on more important things like demand, income, work load and retirement/retention? Oh I forgot, dealing with real issues are not the forte of the BMA and RCGP.

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  • to the first poster.
    I think staff grades are still classed as specialists just not consultants as not done the exams.
    Saleried GPs have done the exams.
    I don't see what bearing running a small business has on whether you are a specialist doctor or not. Hospital cnsultants are salaried doctors after all so I cant see the sense in what you've written.

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  • Here we go- there has been 5 comments and already there is a "you" and "me" divide among GPs !! Very good for the profession..

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  • Specialists in superficial medicine with a particular emphasis on directional triage.
    Grow up people- GPs are the med school thickies and are quite rightly, in my opinion, the object of derision and scorn by proper specialists.

    Sincerely, a Physician in GP land.

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  • The last comment is very insulting, bigoted and not true. Can the author give evidence of his claim? It is just such comments that put off doctors from being GPs and shows the need for GPs to be recognised as specialists.

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  • 09 Aug 2016 5:57pm Agree completely. Not being a specialist in no way reduces a GP's importance or level of skill and expertise but a specialist in general practice is an oxymoron.

    As a pharmacist, I'm sure I could probably create an argument to be given specialist status but I really don't see the point. To be honest, I'd rather spend the time looking after my patients.

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    How does rebranding actually solve a bl**dy thing?!

    BMA/RCGP - WAKE UP. You are arguing about what to call the troops whilst they are mowed down on the battlefield. FFS.

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