GP careers have 'never looked more exciting', says RCGP appeal to foundation doctors

The future of general practice has 'never looked more exciting', RCGP chairwoman Dr Maureen Baker has told foundation trainees in a letter urging them to opt for general practice over other specialties.

The RCGP chairwoman has written to every foundation-level doctor in the country to convince them to consider joining her in the ‘fantastic’ GP profession.

Sent to thousands of foundation-level doctors, it begins with a pledge of continued support during the on-going contract disputes embroiling junior doctors.

Dr Baker admitted that there are ‘well-documented challenges’ to being a GP ‘in the current climate’, but argued that the opportunities the career offers have ‘never looked more exciting’.

In championing the role, the letter highlights the flexibility of the career, the lifelong relationships built with patients and the leading role within the community as aspects that make being a GP ‘both exciting and challenging’.

Read more: Dr Baker on GP careers

It forms just one prong of attempts led by the RCGP to entice more young doctors into the career.

The move comes as trainees can enter GPonline's 2016 Choosing General Practice competition - now run in association with the RCGP - by writing why they want to be a GP.

Earlier this week, the college also held a live twitter Q&A with Dr Baker, RCGP council member Dr Dom Patterson and associates in training chairwoman Dr Laura Armitage discussing the merits of the profession and calling on trainees to #chooseGP.

The three and other GPs fielded questions from trainees considering a career in general practice. See selected tweets below and the full Storify here.

A snippet from Dr Baker’s letter reads: ‘The expert generalist skills of GPs have never been more in demand. And, as care is shifted out of hospitals, GPs will increasingly lead multi-professional teams to provide new integrated services for patients in their communities, using a wide range of medical skills.

‘GP practices are part of the fabric of their local communities, and the relationship that family doctors build with their patients over time remains a key reason why, when properly resourced, it is one of the most satisfying jobs there is.’

Photo: Pete Hill

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