What is general practice?

General practice provides continuing, comprehensive, coordinated and person-centred health care to patients in their communities.

GPs and GP-led multi-disciplinary teams manage the widest range of health problems; providing both systematic and opportunistic health promotion, making accurate diagnoses and risk assessments; dealing with multimorbidity; coordinating long-term care; and addressing the physical, social and psychological aspects of patients’ wellbeing throughout their lives. GPs are also integrally involved in deciding how health and social services should be organised to deliver safe, effective and accessible care to patients in their communities.

With general practice carrying out 90% of patient contacts in the health service, it is the bedrock of the NHS.

What is a GP?

GPs are expert medical generalists who provide the first point of contact with the NHS for most people in their communities. They may deal with any medical problem, from cradle to grave, and by providing continuity of care to their patients, families, and communities, they contribute hugely to keeping the nation healthy.

General practice is a unique discipline. Rigorous scientific and clinical medical training and the ability to apply the evidence appropriately in community settings, places general practice at the centre of the NHS. This knowledge and skill set – when combined with the discipline's holistic, relationship based philosophy and broad generalist practice, distinguish the discipline in large measure from other medical disciplines.


ThinkGPHow to become a GP

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