One of the main drivers that led to me setting up GP+ Networking was to demonstrate to colleagues what is possible within primary care. Many medical students make future career choices based on perceptions made within clinical teaching sessions. It has been recently highlighted by the Chair of RCGP that the perception of General practice in medical schools is often a negative one. I was certainly experience the “whether you like it or not 50% of you will end up as GPs”.
Exposure to general practice may be limited and focuses on core general practice only. General practice offers a hugely diverse career within core general practice but even more so beyond it with the increasingly popular extended roles.
I myself have taken my surgical skills and used them to provide skin surgery within my own practice. I am still in the process of developing this further. My career is constantly developing whilst I have a fantastic foundation within my partnership.
GP+ Networking caught the attention of Henry, a Bristol university medical student who had assumed his career would lead him into surgery. Through discovery of the range of surgical activity possible within primary care he now feels that general practice will give him the perfect balance for his career. Not only that, he is now actively encouraging his peers to register on the website to browse the possibilities themselves.
Turning heads towards a career in general practice
Our future career choices are often led by those who inspire us. Henry has found that GP+ Networking has done that for general practice.
Currently general practice does not get the same exposure within undergraduate training, let alone general practice with special interests and extended roles. If students are blind to those possibilities they will not follow us.
GP+ Networking allows students to search out GP trainees and GPs who can inspire them and connect with them on a one to one basis. Adding a personal dimension to career advice is a powerful tool and one that we should embrace.
I was an ST3 in plastic surgery when I decided to change to a career in GP. I know that there will be others within specialist training schemes whose life priorities or interests have changed and would consider an alternative career. The difference is now GP+ Networking allows them to look around and connect to GPs with a similar background and make an informed choice. This is happening even with GP+ Networking being in its infancy
“I’m an ST3 in Paeds but considering changing to GP. Thought I’d use your site to give me an idea of the additional roles some GPs take on”
I think the network is a powerful tool to solve our workforce crisis. When primary care is strong then the NHS is strong.
Why get involved as a GP?
Henry has also allowed me to reflect on my own achievements and recognised how interesting and variable my own job is currently. Being reminded of this when we are all working hard is important for morale. Teaching, mentoring and coaching are so important to energise our practice.
It can be an isolating profession sometimes. In our social lives many of us are more connective than ever via social media. GP+ Networking allows us to form communities based on our professional interests within a secure environment.
The larger the GP+Networking community is the greater it will be as a resource for general practice.
Be a part of it and watch it grow. Register now and create your profile for free.
If you would like to showcase your work as a GP with an extended role then please get in contact. We would love to here from you.