As it is clear that athletes can combine creativity, skill and competition, so too GPs can be recognised by our holistic approach to healthcare

13 August 2021

When is a sport not a sport? It seemed inconceivable to anyone who watched the Olympic freestyle BMX, skateboarding or surfing that just hours after the competition, pundits were debating whether the competitors had too much fun or supported each other too much to be a 'real' sport.   

When is a GP not a GP? This idea too seems impossible, yet at our College workshop on GP retention we heard from colleagues who were being described by others not as GPs but in terms of their contract type, their performer list status or by whether their role was patient facing or not. They described the resulting loss of motivation, enjoyment and belonging, with GPs leaving the profession in the worst cases.

But just as it is clear that athletes can combine creativity, skill and competition, so too GPs can be recognised by our holistic approach to healthcare, blending scientific knowledge and person-centredness for individuals and patient populations.

In a month when many new GPs leave training schemes and new cohorts start, let us celebrate the diversity of roles now available to GPs and challenge those who might criticise this to understand that being a GP is more than a job title.

Post written by

Dr Michael Mulholland, College Vice Chair for Professional Development

Michael Mulholland is a GP at Unity Health, a five-site practice for 22000 patients across the Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire border where he has practised for nearly 20 years.  

He also works for Health Education England with roles in GP training, Quality Improvement and workforce planning. Within the RCGP he has been part of the GP at Scale programme and a GP Forward View Regional Ambassador.

He was elected to the post of Vice Chair (Professional Development) in November 2018. 

Latest updates from your College

Booster campaign

We've reiterated our calls for more details on the COVID-19 booster vaccination, which by all accounts is set to start in September - an issue we first raised in a joint blog in The Times with NHS Providers.

The success of the vaccination programme has been the result of meticulous planning by GPs, our teams and colleagues across the health service and it's concerning that with weeks to go, we still don't fully know how it will work.

The College's Honorary Treasurer Steve Mowle spoke to Times Radio, making the case that GPs need information as soon as possible, particularly in terms of how the booster programme will work in conjunction with the flu vaccine programme. Steve pointed out the importance of having more trained non-clinical vaccinators to free up GPs and other practice team members taking part to deal with the workload of day-to-day general practice.

Surveillance of Respiratory Illness

Join us on Thursday 9 September when Simon De Lusignan, Director of the RCGP-Oxford Research and Surveillance Centre will talk through recent data on respiratory illness collected via England's longest-running sentinel network, including surveillance of COVID-19.

He will be joined by a representative from Public Health England to talk about how this data can been used in research and what GPs can do to get involved.

There will also be an introduction by RCGP Chair Martin Marshall and reflections from a frontline GP who has been conducting virology and serology sampling.

South Asian Heritage Month

We're coming to the end of South Asian Heritage Month 2021. It’s been fantastic to celebrate the culture, heritage, and achievements of our members from South Asian backgrounds. Catch up on our member stories on Instagram and have a listen to our #TeamGP Perspectives podcast on the contribution of South Asian migrants to the building of the NHS.

If you would like to get involved with any of our Racial Equity and Inclusion work, please visit the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic community section of our website.

Inspire Awards

Thank you to all those who have nominated colleagues for an Inspire Award. There are only a couple of weeks left until nominations close on 31 August, so if you know of a GP, practice team, committee or other outstanding group who deserves to be recognised, don't miss the deadline and nominate them today. 

Find out more about Inspire Awards and how to nominate.

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