Less than a third of GP trainees (31%) in England see themselves working full time in general practice a year after qualifying, according to a new study by The King’s Fund.
The think-tank’s survey of 318 GP trainees also found that less than 5% said they would work full-time (defined as eight or more half-day sessions per week) ten years after qualifying.
Out of those not planning to work full-time, 78% said the ‘intensity of the working day’ was the reason they did not want to do more sessions.
In past years, ‘family commitments’ was the second most common reason for wanting to work part-time, but this year the second, third and fourth most selected options were all related to workload, such as the amount of administrative work (67%), work-related stress (63%) and long working hours (61%).
Almost two-thirds of GP trainees (63%) plan to work up to six four-hour sessions a week.
The most favoured working-hours option at every future point in time was 5-6 clinical sessions weekly.
One survey participant said: ‘General practice is a brilliant job, but will always be too intense to do for more than five or six clinical sessions per week.’
In terms of the type of GP trainees want to become, being a salaried GP was the most popular choice for one and five years post-qualification.
The most selected reason for not wanting to become a GP partner was the ‘responsibility for practice workload’.
Ten years after qualifying, 35% of trainees plan to be a GP partner, though this is down from 45% in 2016.
More respondents compared to previous years said they were not sure what hours they would work in future or if they would stay in general practice at all.
Meanwhile, Health Education England said more than 90% of all GP trainees in England will spend two years in general practice from August 2022.
A ‘staggering’ BMA survey in May found that one in eight GP trainees will choose not to become GPs in future.