General Practice

Journey Through the Specialities

General Practice

Most people will have an awareness of this career and the value that it holds as the main provider of primary care. GPs focus on the care of the patient as a whole combining physical, psychological and social aspects of care in order to ensure their patients are as well as they can be. It is for this reason that patient centred care is an integral part of a GPs job, especially as they often deal with patients who have chronic and terminal illnesses and so respecting their autonomy and really working with them is essential.

Their roles include health promotion, prevention and initiating treatment and they work within a much wider multidisciplinary team in order to facilitate this. While GPs can carry out some investigations and examinations at the practice, most people will be referred for tests and the GP will be there to offer support through an ongoing management plan. 

General Practise

Speciality Breakdown

After the foundation programme, becoming a GP requires 3 years of run through training including 18-24 months of placements in a general practice and upon passing the exams, doctors join the GMC’s GP Register. 

– Continuity of care – you treat largely the same patients from birth to death which can be very rewarding and allow you to build an excellent rapport and relationship with patients. 

– You will have vast knowledge of many conditions both simple and complex in every speciality you can think of so if you can’t decide one speciality to focus on, then this may be perfect!

– The ability to make a real difference in your patient’s lives can be very rewarding and can also be echoed on a larger scale as you help to advance medicine as it moves from a hospital to a community setting. 

– The work-life balance of a GP is known to be extremely good as the career in so flexible. You can become a GPwSI (GP with special interests) to allow you to build a career around things you are passionate about. GP surgeries are often small businesses and so this would be a great opportunity if business was something that interested you.

– Consultations are just 10 minutes long so this can be challenging to get a whole patient history, understand their ICE and develop an action plan. The pressure which GPs are put under also means that there isn’t much scope for running over these consultation times. 

– You may often have to deal with patients who have very strong pre-conceived ideas, concerns and expectations which may mean they are uncooperative with treatment. A lot of patience is required to bring consultations like these to a successful outcome.

– Every day is a new day and absolutely anything could walk through the door so it can sometimes be quite difficult to prepare for this. This can also include medically unexplained symptoms which pose more challenges.

– As GPs deal with many elderly people, they often have to deal with the co-morbidities of these patients which can be very complex and difficult to treat as some medications may affect another condition they have.