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The times, they are a-changin’: launching a GP career in 2013

Bob Dylan’s music has been used when there have been times of social unrest, becoming anthems during US civil rights and anti-war movements. While the UK may not have this degree of social unrest as America in the 1950s and 1960s, there is a significant change in the structure of healthcare occurring this year that may result in social unrest in the future.

CCGs officially went live on 1 April (reluctantly, it would seem) and for many it would seem that the Government has set us GPs to look like fools, and we suspect things will start going wrong very quickly.

Unfortunately, things already have started to go pear-shaped in primary care.

NHS 111 is already struggling even though it has been running for less than three months. Massive underestimation of number of staff needed to run out-of-hours service has led GP anger, patient dissatisfaction and several near misses. Let’s hope revalidation does not turn into an enormous and costly waste of time when it starts later this year.

But despite these problems, I am still looking forward to starting as a GP. At a recent careers fair locally, Professor Mike Pringle (president of the RCGP) made a rousing speech to a room of post-CSA ST3s, including myself, about the brave new world we were about to enter.

Often change in the NHS is slow, but this year I will remember and be a part of the a time of great change where the GP landscape is evolving dramatically. I hope I can get involved in this potentially exciting and scary time, rather than seeking ‘shelter from the storm’.

Dr Avradeep Chakrabarti is a GPST3 training in Swindon, living in Bristol.