GPs must be recognised as specialists in general practice, say RCGP and the BMA

Publication date: 09 August 2016

The Royal College of GPs and the BMA have released a joint statement saying that the recognition of GPs as specialists in general practice/family medicine in the UK is long overdue.

We, the undersigned, as the four-nation representatives of the profession from the British Medical Association and Royal College of GPs, state that the recognition of general practitioners as specialists in
the UK is long overdue.

Following graduation with a medical degree, doctors choosing general practice undergo at least five years of specialist training, divided between hospital posts and supervised periods in a GP training practice.

There is a rigorous exit examination (MRCGP) and the specialism is recognised both by the existence of Chairs of General Practice in universities and medical schools, and by the establishment of the
Royal College of General Practitioners.

General practice/family medicine is recognised as a speciality in most countries and in particular in Europe where the UK is now an outlier. Twenty-four out of twenty-eight EU states recognise the
speciality, as does Australia, the USA and Canada.

Recently UEMO (the European Union of General Practitioners/Family Physicians) called for all European countries to recognise the speciality and the statement has the support of other European
medical organisations.

We make this statement with the endorsement of the British Medical Association’s Representative Body and the Council decision of the Royal College of General Practitioners.

It is an anachronistic anomaly that the postgraduate training of general practitioners remains unrecognised in this respect and we call upon the government and General Medical Council to make
the changes necessary to add general practitioners to the List of Specialists and for the status of general practitioners to be equal to that of their secondary care colleagues.

General practitioners are specialists in general practice/family medicine and must be recognised as such.


Further Information

Read the full statement here.

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7574/7575/7633
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.

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