The open letter, signed by heads of medical school departments of primary care and general practice, will be sent to CMO Sir Liam Donaldson and the GMC and published in the press next week.
It opposes the government’s plans for medical regulation and calls on the GMC not to become ‘an instrument of the DoH’.
The petition will pile pressure on the CMO to rethink the plans drawn up in ‘Good Doctors, Safer Patients’, which have already come under fire from the GPC (GP, 29 September).
It calls for GMC members to be ‘elected by medical professionals’ and warns that the CMO’s ‘oppressive proposals’ will plunge doctors into ‘a climate of mistrust and fear’.
Glasgow GP Dr Margaret McCartney, who set up the petition, said: ‘We don’t want the GMC to become a subsection of the DoH.’
Professor Sir Iain Chalmers, director of the UK Cochrane Centre, and Chris Butler and Adrian Edwards, professors of primary care medicine and of general practice at Cardiff University, have signed the letter.
County Durham GP Dr Gert Gammelin, who also signed, said: ‘These proposals will not improve patient care and will probably even affect it adversely by creating a climate of fear, encouraging defensive medicine and lowering doctors’ morale even more.
‘The proposals to lower burden of proof are completely unacceptable for exactly the same reasons.’
The open letter calls for the GMC to remain ‘an independent body, transparent and accountable to parliament’.
It condemns the proposals for revalidation by yearly exam as ‘impracticable, of unproven efficacy and unacceptable’.
Signatures can be added to the letter until 13 October.