The RCGP is calling on GPs across Wales to go into schools to promote general practice as a career choice.
As part of a drive to improve recruitment, the college is asking GPs to spend time giving talks in schools, mentor students through medical school applications, provide work experience or help with interview preparation.
Just a few hours over a year can ‘make a big difference to a young person trying to get in to study medicine’, said Dr Rob Morgan, an RCGP executive officer and GP in Brigend, who is setting up a database of interested volunteers.
In conjunction with Careers Wales, the RCGP has also been giving talks at careers fairs as well as a webcast Q&A session that went out to 27 schools and a workshop for pupils intending to study medicine.
‘It is about explaining what a GP does, and that you can do other things as well. ‘We had a student interested in sports medicine and we explained that you can do that and be a GP,’ said Dr Morgan.
‘If you are interested in medicine and the person who helped you most at the start was a GP, that stands out,’ he said.
Dr Morgan says it is gratifying to explain to kids who think that they would not be able to do medicine that he was a scientist first and there are other routes.
‘Aspirationally what we want to look at is widening access to medical school for kids who don’t think they have that option.’
Growing GP shortages across Wales have prompted a range of strategies to encourage more trainee doctors to opt for general practice including the introduction of £20,000 bursaries in hard to fill areas.
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