GP training in Wales offers exciting opportunities

NHS Wales has recently launched a major new recruitment drive to attract more GPs to train, work and live in Wales. But what are the advantages of training in Wales?

GP trainee Dr Cheryl Anderson
GP trainee Dr Cheryl Anderson

All recruits to GP training in Wales can apply to enter GP Specialty Academic Training (GPSAT) programme in their second year.

Dr Cheryl Anderson from Birmingham is completing her GP training in Wales under the GPSAT. The scheme is enabling Dr Anderson to become actively involved in primary care research and academic training.

GP training in Wales

For more information on GP training in Wales, please visit

This article is funded by NHS Wales for GP Connect

‘My place on the Academic Training Scheme means that I can now get involved in highly-regarded primary care research as well as academic training.’ Dr Anderson explains. ‘This will add a new dimension to my GP career as well as enable me to go on and teach the next generation of trainee GPs.

‘I’m actively involved in infection and immunisation research as well as helping to develop and deliver new teaching methods for medical students as part of a new curriculum. The flexibility of my training here in Wales has also allowed me to postpone my studies to have a baby and pick up where I left off when the time was right for me. This has meant that I could fit my training around my lifestyle.’

The GPSAT programme aims to provide a route into an academic GP career starting in specialty training. It allows trainees to develop academic skills early in their career, enabling them to undertake training and research in the postgraduate and undergraduate departments of the deanery while they are still training.

GPSAT trainees undertake their ST1 and ST2 years as normal. During their ST3 and ST4 years they spend half of each week in a clinical GP setting and half in academic training. Some trainees, like Dr Anderson, have a focus on teaching and education, while others focus on research.

Towards the end of the programme, GPSAT trainees are well placed to apply in open competition for a GP Academic Fellowship in Wales if they wish.

Other reasons to train in Wales

According to the GMC Survey 2016, trainee doctors in Wales are the most satisfied overall in the UK.1

NHS Wales has recently launched a major new recruitment drive to attract more GPs to train, work and live in Wales. Trainee doctors in Wales enjoy a number of benefits including:

  • New financial incentives including a universal one-off payment for all GP specialty training programme trainees to help cover final exam costs
  • £20,000 for trainee GPs, in certain parts of Wales, provided they remain in the area in which they train and for one year of practice afterwards
  • Access to a wide range of specialty training
  • Prestigious training fellowships
  • Flexible training packages
  • A unique education contract that guarantees access to all the educational opportunities appropriate to GP training.

1. The GMC National Training Survey is an annual survey. The 2016 survey was completed by a total of 58,835 doctors in training across the UK. 2,230 of these were based in Wales. Full copies of the survey report can be found here

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