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RCGP urges graduates to choose general practice as 'the future's bright'

The chair of the RCGP has written to thousands of trainee doctors in England today urging them to consider a future in general practice because the future ‘is looking bright’.

The college says this is the first time it has resorted to direct mailing on such a large scale, and it has done so because of the acute need to address the chronic shortage of GPs that remains unsolved despite an unprecedented third round of GP recruitment this year.

In the letter, Dr Maureen Baker writes: ‘General practice is also one of the most challenging jobs in medicine, as GPs must have the knowledge, expertise and confidence to be able to deal with whatever comes through the consultation room door.

‘A career in general practice offers a great deal of flexibility. It allows you to fit the job around other major commitments, such as having a young family.’

The letter adds: ‘In its ground-breaking document, the Five Year Forward View, NHS England calls for a ‘new deal for primary care’, with investment being shifted from acute to primary and community services.

‘There is now a real push to put more resources into general practice and build up the GP workforce. As a result, the future of general practice is looking bright… I hope that the prospect of working in general practice sounds exciting.’

Yesterday, Pulse reported that Health Education England intends to train hundreds more physician assistants as part of its £5bn Workforce Plan for England.

It follows GP training places in some areas of England being undersubscribed by as much as 40% this year.

Readers' comments (39)

  • All bull. Ignore this trash and steer clear

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  • Remember Keith Harris and Orville?

    The RCGP is simply a puppet on HMG's lap, the Gloved Hand opening to the tune of more inane and preposterous banalities in election year that fly completely in the face of reality.

    There are times when some might wish to call both parties complete liars but perhaps that would be disingenuous.

    General Practice is indeed thriving, awash with money and keen new entrants chomping at the bit to join partnerships for their bright future.

    Meanwhile I'm just going to prescribe a damp course and new roof for my patient, write a letter for a walk-in shower to be fitted and call all my vulnerable patients at midnight on Friday to to tell them under no circumstances to visit A/E over the weekend.

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  • Is this new rhyming slang for ' the futrue's sh**e?'

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  • Vinci Ho

    I will go with a different tone for these young doctors:
    Yes, it is pretty cr*p right now and we need to have changes in general practice and most importantly new funding.
    But(always a but), if you have the courage and audacity , join us to fight all these politicians from all parties .to defend the true traditional values of GPs in this country . We need you(with the finger pointing to you in the poster!)

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  • The letter paints a picture of General Practice as it used to be, in the halcyon days before the 2004 contract.
    The College, which has always preached targets, without considering resources, is no longer connected with the coal face and I don't think the rush to emigrate will be slowed.

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  • Why are you lying ?

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  • I think UK primary care is worth fighting for , but lying is not the way to do it.

    The truth is self evident, it can be turned around, if the political will is there but there is no magic. Either structures are in place or primary are will be destroyed, at a huge cost to all of us.

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  • Young doctors are no mugs. 12-13 hour days are wonderful for family life. Pay works out at peanuts per hour. The stress is literally killing us. The Pulse survey shows 12% had taken time off in the past 12 months, while 29% thought they would probably need to in the next 12 months. We're loving it.

    I was at the RCGP conference, most young GPs I saw were well p**d off, one even GP told Maureen that she does not feel she could "last another 2 years in the job let alone 5" - exact quote.

    Also, from Prof Field, passionately telling us two polar opposite statements.
    1. Too demanding..."I couldn't work full time"
    2. Rugby hug a patient impression as he said "It's the best job there is, they let us into their soul, their world.."

    Don't forget Dave Cameron wants us working 7 days a week. And Simon Stevens started his talk at the RCGP conference by telling us how interesting our conference must be when he read we were discussing General practice in the Amazonian Forest (was a poster, but he got his kick in). "Is this an exercise or real world"?

    GPs have never had it so good...

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  • Choose....so we can make lot of money by failing in exams

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  • why are trainee's being lied to?
    the truth:
    1. ambulance services cannot cope: ask GPs to call their vulnerable pts over the weekend : read that article!
    2. we work >12hrs each day: not accounted for and the pay gets published.
    3. more targets despite no evidence: admission avoidance DES? is it avoiding any admission?
    4. GP are higher targets for medicolegal challenges
    5. future is salaried GPs under non-clinical managers who will ask you why have you prescribed ciprofloxacin, amox, gliptin and not gliclazide (as gliclazide is cheaper but noone wants to look at risk of hypos). few yrs ago simvastatin was first choice despite significant fight from me my pts were told to consider simvastatin while they were on atorvastatin. after 2yrs first choice is atorvastatin!
    6. a junior Dr in A&E/medicine gets away with multiple investigations: but GPs radiology and pathology requests being scrutinised.
    7. A&E recently could not cope: GPs gets email that please do not sent pts to hospital unless absolutely necessary as if other days its ok to send pts. I make my decisions on clinical grounds: whether hospital is empty or running at full capacity.
    8. unprecedented demand. we were suppose to give 60 appts/1000 pts / week. without any negotiations the PCT 3yrs ago asked use to move to 75appts/1000pts/week & no financial incentive to do this. the whole area was pushed into this. we currently do provide the above and its still not enough.
    9. soon you will be responsible for physician assistants ( I have worked with 2 of them: personally it isnt cost effective unless they do minor illnesses: for which we have minor illness nurses).
    10. final reason: Daily mail
    can keep on going!
    Dr Baker : sort the above out before asking our junior colleagues to join us.
    Qn is will any current GP (not politically influenced) as his / her children to join general practice and stay in UK?

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