There are many reasons why the General Practice specialty is an attractive option for doctors who enjoy and want to use their breadth of medical knowledge and continue to develop clinical skills.
General practice is one of the most respected public services and remains fundamental to making sure that people are treated and cared for in local communities. With an increasing emphasis on prevention, GPs and their teams are trusted by patients and their families. General Practice is one career with endless opportunities.
Reasons to choose General Practice include:
- Stability (both financially and within a geographical area)
- Good work/life balance
- Supporting preventative medicine
- Getting to know a practice population
- Continuity of care throughout a patient’s life
- Portfolio working opportunities
- Variety – no two days are ever the same
- Opportunities to develop further specialities
- Teamwork (within and outside of the practice)
- Rewarding work
- Being able to offer holistic care
- Shortest training programme
The Choose GP website – https://gprecruitment.hee.nhs.uk/choose-gp/ – has GP Career Stories, FAQs, information on how to switch to GP Training, and useful links to understand more about General Practice as a career.
There is also a Choose GP Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ChooseGP
To become a General Practitioner, you’ll need to complete:
- a 5-year degree in medicine, recognised by the General Medical Council
- a 2-year foundation course of general training
- a 3-year specialist training course in general practice
If you already have a degree in a science subject (minimum upper second), you could take an accelerated 4-year graduate entry programme.
You may be able to join a 6-year degree course in medicine if you have no science qualifications. This includes a one-year pre-medical or foundation year.
When you apply for a course in medicine, you could be asked to take the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) or BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT). They test the skills you’ll need on the course, like critical thinking, problem solving, data analysis, communication and scientific knowledge.
Medical schools will also expect you to have some relevant paid or voluntary work experience. The British Medical Association has information on finding a placement.
You’ll usually need:
- at least 5 GCSEs grades 9 to 7 (A* or A), including English maths and sciences
- 3 A levels, or equivalent, including biology and chemistry
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
- University Clinical Aptitude Test
- BioMedical Admissions Test
- after your training you’ll need to join the General Medical Council GP Register, and apply for a licence to practise as a doctor
Full details regarding the GP Recruitment Process can be found on: https://gprecruitment.hee.nhs.uk/recruitment
GP Training is managed by Health Education England (HEE). Greater Manchester is part of HEE North West, along with Cheshire & Merseyside and Lancashire & South Cumbria. The North West School of Primary Care, which covers all 3 areas, has 22 GP Training Programmes and is one of the largest Schools in the UK.
There are 8 Training Programmes in Greater Manchester. Information regarding each of these can be found below:
Dr Nick Pendleton firstname.lastname@example.org
PENNINE (NORTH MANCHESTER, BURY, ROCHDALE, OLDHAM)
Dr Parm Mamman (North Manchester and Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale – including hospitals geographically) email@example.com
Dr Raj Khiroya (Oldham and Bury – including hospitals geographically) firstname.lastname@example.org
GREATER MANCHESTER DEPRIVATION PROGRAMME
Website under construction – see information sheet here. Contact: email@example.com
Dr Andrew Elliott firstname.lastname@example.org
CENTRAL / SOUTH MANCHESTER
Dr Julian Tomkinson email@example.com
SALFORD / TRAFFORD
Dr Derek Seex firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Bonny Needham email@example.com
Dr Rachel Edwards firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Keith Ward email@example.com
The Targeted Enhanced Recruitment Scheme (TERS) is an initiative that will offer a one-off payment of £20,000 to GP trainees committed to working in a select number of training places in England that have been hard to recruit to for the past three years. These areas often have an extremely good track record for education but are initially less popular simply because of their geographical location. However, those trainees that do come usually stay on after training, as they discover these locations’ hidden attractions.
Greater Manchester has always been very popular with GP Trainees, so TERS places have not been required. However, the number of TERS placements available is likely to increase significantly over the next few years so it may extend to GM at some point.
Full details can be found at: https://gprecruitment.hee.nhs.uk/Recruitment/TERS/England
Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership (hyperlink to GMSCP section on platform) has a rolling engagement programme for GP Trainees and regularly attends educational sessions within each training programme across the region. These sessions allow GP Trainees to understand what opportunities are available to them after training.
The GP trainees committee is part of the British Medical Association’s (BMA) general practitioners committee (GPC UK). It provides national representation for all doctors on a GP training programme – https://www.bma.org.uk/collective-voice/committees/general-practitioners-committee/gp-trainees-committee
They are focused on the following issues which are impacting on GP trainees’ careers:
- Doctors in training contract negotiations
- Training costs – including value for money on exam costs and subscription fees
- GP training recruitment
- The Shape of Training Review and enhanced GP education and training
- Maternity pay
- Occupational health vaccinations
- e-Portfolio concerns and issues
- Less Than Full Time (LTFT) training
- Increasing and improving regional representation for GP trainees
On joining a GP Specialty Training Programme you should register with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP). On the RCGP website you can explore the endless opportunities associated with a career in general practice: https://www.rcgp.org.uk/training-exams/discover-general-practice.aspx
After your training you’ll need to join the General Medical Council GP Register and apply for a licence to practise as a doctor.
Please visit the Local Medical Committees section to find out more.
The National Medical Director’s Clinical Fellow Scheme for doctors in training in England is sponsored by the National Medical Director of NHS England and managed by the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management (FMLM). The scheme has been established to fast track and support those doctors in training who present with the clearest potential to develop as medical leaders of the future.
The scheme provides doctors in training with a unique opportunity to spend 12 months in a national healthcare-affiliated organisation outside of clinical practice to develop their skills in leadership, management, strategy, project management, and health policy. The organisations currently in the scheme are: BMJ, BUPA, Care Quality Commission, Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management, General Medical Council, Health and Social Care Information Centre, Health Education England, Macmillan Cancer Support, Monitor, NHS England, NICE, Public Health England, Royal College of Psychiatrists, St Andrews Healthcare, Royal College of Surgeons England and the Trust Development Authority.
Full details can be found here: https://www.fmlm.ac.uk/programme-services/individual-support/national-medical-directors-clinical-fellow-scheme
Please visit the Early Career GPs section to find out more about life after GP Training.