Professor David Haslam said that the RCGP was now the largest of all the royal medical colleges with 39,000 members, and 1,300 delegates attending the annual conference in Glasgow.
He said: ‘For far too long the focus in healthcare has been on hospitals. High quality primary care can prevent illness but there is no story in that. There is no drama in something not happening. But as a patient I know which one I would prefer.'
Patients with multiple morbidities would far rather see one generalist, said Professor Haslam, than numerous specialists.
‘General practice is by far the largest of all the medical specialties. We are in the part of the medical world that is going to be the future.'
Professor Haslam steps down from the college presidency this month, to be followed by north London GP Dr Iona Heath. Dr Maureen Baker will also step down as honorary secretary after nine years, to be replaced by Professor Amanda Howe.