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A faulty production line

Medical graduates left ‘frightened’ to tell trainers they want to become GPs

Junior doctors are ‘frightened’ of telling trainers in secondary care that they are considering a career in general practice because they don’t want to be excluded from secondary care procedures or clinics, the chair-elect of RCGP Wales has claimed.

Speaking from the floor at the Urgent Health UK 2015 conference, Dr Rebecca Payne called on commissioners to do something about the lack of respect shown to the profession, warning that she had been told that future GPs were being prevented from carrying out procedures. 

NHS England head of primary care Dr David Geddes said that there was a ’stigma’ in medical schools around future GPs.

It came in a session given by Dr Geddes on NHS England’s commissioning strategy for primary care, during which delegates said the picture of general practice being presented in the Five Year Forward View and plans for tackling GP workforce issues ‘didn’t match reality’

Dr Payne – who becomes chair of RCGP Wales later this month – said that GPs were ‘denigrated’.

She said: ‘When I’m at work, no one can disrespect me because of my race, my sexuality, my gender or my religion. But I can be disrespected and denigrated because I’m a GP.’

She added: ‘Junior doctors tell me that, on the wards, they’re frightened to tell people that they want to be GPs because then they don’t get the opportunities to carry out procedures or go to clinics.’

In response, Dr Geddes said that this was unacceptable. 

He said: ’The feeling among GP registrars, that they’re embarrassed to say they’re a GP registrar, that’s absolutely what Health Education England, the RCGP and NHS England want to stamp out.

‘That is prejudice and it’s certainly not where we want to go, because we need far more GPs than we need more consultants. So let’s get more secondary care people working in community.’

 Dr Geddes said he was aware of general practice being shown a lack of respect in medical schools.

He told delegates the issue had previously been raised by RCGP England chair Dr Maureen Baker, who met medical schools to discuss the ‘toxic anti GP culture’ in universities.

Dr Geddes added: ‘Maureen Baker was saying there are still difficulties with many medical schools saying “you want to be going into this kind of area of medicine, you want to go into acute care. Some of you won’t be able to make it and might go into general practice.”

‘It’s that stigma that still exists in some medical schools that I’m aware of.’



Readers' comments (21)

  • Dr Geddes says medical schools not showing General Practice respect,Hes one to talk head of primary care NHSE look a little closer to home matey.

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  • To Dr. Payne,

    The feeling is nation wise. I have hated myself since I change my speciality to general practice. I am the same person, the same doctor, the moment I started being a GP, I lost the respect from patients over night.

    GP trainees in the wards, are for putting in venflons only.

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  • Respect is earned, not demanded. Nuf said.

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  • I recently went to a friends house for dinner with people I had never met. The topic of jobs came up and even as a GP of 25 years I felt almost embarrassed to admit I was a GP. Geddes and his friends at NHSE, DoH and the Daily Rags have belittled and destroyed GP.

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  • I recall in pediatric block the lead consultant sharking with Pediatric trainees only , refused to shake the GPVTS ; we were left feeling un-welcome, more in number and contributed more to peads department.At every opportunity he tried to sabotage our training days and sturdy leave.

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  • I am embarrassed to say I am a GP when talking to people I don't know. Left a bridge group because I was sick of the "nice to earn £500 000 a year" jokes and "it's about bloody time GPs did some work". That last comment from a ( very thick) senior AE manager.
    I now just say I am a housewife/ retired.

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  • Guess its the net result of recruiting people into medicine from arrogant backgrounds. The profession is full of completely the wrong people. Maybe recruiting from more deprived backgrounds and re-locating medical schools to such areas could help. At the moment medicine is still elitist and the back biting individualistic types feel they can look good by belittling GP and behaving like this.

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  • The skills and knowledge to be an effective GP and the resilience to deal with complaints and workload means that specialty doctors could be accussed of hiding in the monoliths not prepared to face the real world- I'll fix my bit then see the GP. When we're gone I wonder how they'll cope having to do their own follow up.

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  • It's precisely the doctors referred to in this article who have made GP the embarrassing profession it now is

    Instead of spouting predictable self-important drivel, do a proper job like full time general practice
    Some people take the easy option getting jobs telling everyone else what to do plus a session a week ' to keep your hand in'
    So, you are not qualified to advise me, and for answers to the question why GP has become so unpopular, look no further than yourselves

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  • Vinci Ho

    Look , who's talking ?
    ''when the cat mourns for the rat, it is merely showing sham pity'' a Chinese saying

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