Young GPs suggest ideas to reverse trainee shortfall

Our panel of 35 GPs under 35 offers a fresh perspective on the issues facing the profession.

Young GPs are split on what action should be taken to reverse the declining popularity of general practice as a career.

Earlier this month GP exclusively revealed that applications for GP training fell by a third in 2009 (GP, 10 July).

GP asked its panel of 35 GPs aged under 35 what action they would like to see.

East London GP Dr Osman Bhatti said: 'The BMA, RCGP and LMCs need to look at the changing face of general practice.'

If many GPs' future is salaried, their pay and conditions should be better balanced with that of partners, he said. He urged GP leaders to promote the benefits of partnerships.

West Yorkshire GP Dr Johnson D'souza said: 'I would like a definitive role as a partner by the end of training, facilitated by the deaneries, or RCGP federated models, with no divide between partners and salaried GPs.'

South London GP Dr Jessica Martin said: 'Younger GPs want to help develop the profession, and receive a fair share of profits, but may not want the responsibility of running a business: a fixed-share salaried partner scheme could be attractive.'

There were many theories about the fall in applications.

Dr Bhatti said: 'The career path is not as straightforward as it used to be. Many disgruntled salaried GPs feel their career progression has been halted.'

Sunderland GP Dr Kamal Sidhu said: 'The causes include the pay freeze and the emergence of salaried posts as a way to cut costs, which has led to a massive reduction in partnerships.'

Cheshire GP Dr Dan Bunstone said: 'Exam costs and revalidation may be putting some people off. Partnerships, and jobs in general seem much thinner on the ground.'

He said the clinical freedom and work/life balance associated with general practice had been undermined by Darzi centres and the increase in the number of salaried positions.

But Lincoln GP Dr Subeer Satyam said: 'Many GPs are not in regular jobs. So I am not sure that more doctors should increase the queue.'

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