General Practice is often the first point of contact for patients with a wide variety of medical conditions, with GP training taking place in a wide variety of locations.
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Entry Route into General Practice
Applicants must have completed the two-year Foundation Programme. The full training programme for General Practice takes at least three years to complete. Selection occurs before entry to ST1 after completion of the Foundation Programme.
Job Progression as a GP
During GP training, trainees spend 18 months as a registrar in various specialties – including Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Paediatrics, Geriatrics, Accident and Emergency Medicine, and Psychiatry. Following this, trainees spend a further 18 months as a GP Speciality Registrar in General Practice. In order to obtain a CCT in General Practice, trainees must be members of the Royal College of General Practitioners.
Competition for GP Training
In 2017, the competition ratio at ST1/CT1 for General Practice was 4.6, with 5097 applications for 3857 posts. In December 2017, there were 68,951 doctors on the GP register.
Salaries in General Practice
A GP’s income depends on the services they provide and how the practice is run. Salaried GPs earn from £56,000 up to £84,000. Self-employed GPs have a contract as part of a Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and earnings may be greater than that of a salaried GP.
A Day in the Life of a GP
Working life varies depending on the size and location of the practice, and whether the GP is a principal/partner, a salaried GP, or a sessional/locum GP. Most surgeries have contracted opening hours between 8:30am and 6:30pm, with most GPs holding two daily consultation sessions. These often including home visits. Some GPs work part-time and some work out-of-hours, and may also spend a significant amount of time on their non-clinical responsibilities, such as working with CCGs.
GPs may also develop a special interest in specific areas and work as clinical assistants at a local hospital. They are expected to keep their clinical knowledge up to date after completing their initial training and 250 CPD credits are required for revalidation every five years.