He said it was a once-in-a-career opportunity for many GPs, who had seen the profession sidelined in the past.
'What we have not managed since I became a GP is effective clinical leadership at all levels of the NHS,' he said.
'In fact, GPs have often been excluded from leadership positions in favour of specialists, while involvement and leadership from patients has only been paid lip service. I believe that this is a massive opportunity.'
Professor Field said GPs had often been frustrated at not being involved in local management. 'Now there is a chance to take charge. It's not without risks but if we walk away from it, the alternative is not even worth thinking about,' he said.
Professor Field also encouraged practices to join together in federations wherever necessary.
'I see federations as integral to making the NHS successful. It's much better that practices work together than see private companies coming in.'
He said the college would play a major role in helping GPs lead NHS reform.
'The college can do a great deal in helping GPs develop the leadership capabilities and commissioning skills to work effectively in this challenging new landscape,' he said.