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17. Professor Simon Gregory

Professor Gregory has the tough job of convincing medical students to become GPs.

The Northampton GP leads on primary care for Health Education England and it looks like he will be successful in meeting the target of getting 3,250 students into general practice – the first time this has been achieved. It also means that half of medical graduates now enter general practice.

He was delighted to find out how popular GP training was this year, listing it as one of his top two favourite moments.

These trainee figures are positive news for the profession but there is still a huge amount of work to be done. As part of his strategy to boost recruitment, Professor Gregory previously introduced an option to allow students to hold their training places so they could take time off.

This year, he’s been working on ensuring that doctors who did not pass the MRCGP when only six-month extensions were possible, can reapply for a targeted training programme with caveats, meaning they will have a ‘good chance of passing’.

And HEE is looking into ways to ensure GP trainees end up staying in general practice. At the NHS Confederation, chief executive Professor Ian Cumming claimed that 40% of GPs are working outside of full-time general practice or substantive locum roles.

But Professor Gregory is proud of the increase in interest in the profession; he says his other favourite moment was meeting with passionate medical students who wanted to become GPs.

Why influential

Passionate about boosting GP numbers, with the job to make it happen

What others say

‘My daughters call me Tigger or Eeyore, depending on my mood.’

Random fact

‘I talk far too much and therefore no one will be surprised by anything about me’