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Would you consider becoming a GP trainer?

Prospect Health offers tips on how to give your career a boost while training the next generation of GPs.

Whilst being a GP trainer takes a lot of effort, it can also be highly rewarding and may appeal to you if you’re currently an established GP looking for a new challenge.

Prospect Health spoke to Dr Katie Houston, a GP training programme director in Yorkshire & the Humber, about her experiences of being a GP trainer. Here are some key things we learned:

Your surgery has to be accredited: If you want to be a GP trainer, your surgery has to be accredited. You may need to provide examples of your consultation skills and practice team-working abilities to ensure you and the practice can provide a supportive learning environment. 

You can get funding: In Yorkshire and the Humber at least, you would be funded to take a year’s Post Graduate Certificate in Medical Education.

You get an approval visit: On successful completion of the course, you submit a written application to the local associate director who convenes a panel and arranges a practice visit. Both the practice and the potential trainer are inspected. You will be formally interviewed before being appointed.

Re-approval process: Once approved as a GP trainer, you will have to go through a re-approval process every five years to ensure you’re still suitable for the role.

What’s in it for you?

That might sound like a lot of hard work when you’re already a busy GP. But the rewards are normally worth the effort for your personal development, job satisfaction and ultimately the medical profession and patients. Here are a few reasons you might want to be a GP trainer:

  • Training keeps you up-to-date with all of the most recent developments.
  • You get to experience a different perspective on General Practice work, which can help keep you motivated.
  • You gain a new peer-support network.
  • As an individual you will be credited for your efforts.
  • As a practice you’ll have an enhanced reputation.
  • If you train a great GP you’re in a good position to keep them.
  • It can be highly satisfying to help the next generation of GPs learn. You will be involved in a GP’s working life at most stages of their development.
  • You get an additional qualification.
  • You develop as a mentor and educator.

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