Promoting the profession

24 July 2020

An email popped into my inbox yesterday from Gyrfa Cymru/Careers Wales seeking help locally to inform youngsters about work and careers in general practice.

Rob Morgan and Dylan Parry already give major support to this at regional and national levels, but it switched my mind for a while to future mode, pondering how we can spread enthusiasm for the work we do.

Then, co-incidentally, in the same batch of emails I found I had been sent a copy of the recently launched Future Doctor document from Health Education England (3.14 MB PDF). I had to take a look.

The Future Doctor

The document is an interesting read and a very welcome boost acknowledging the attributes and skills we have as GPs.

For example, it underlines that: "Doctors in the future clinical team have the patient firmly front and centre to promote supported shared decision making and enable patients to make the best use of available care and support". Exactly the sort of approach our College has emphasised.

It goes on: "Future Doctors will have confidence in a greater breadth of practice across disciplines and specialties due to a strong base of generalist skills, which will enable them to deliver complex, comprehensive care managing co-morbidities in changing healthcare environments." 

The document acknowledges the importance of generalist skills in delivering optimal care and forming the base of an agile profession, able to adapt to the change and challenge that the future will bring.

General practice as an undergraduate

It is certain that undergraduate teaching in general practice will need to expand.

I hope too that this document may lead to more shared training between juniors in general practice and specialist streams so that our hospital-based colleagues will have the opportunity to better develop the generalist skills seen in general practice and highlighted in Future Doctor.

Who knows, we may even have core medical, paediatric and psychiatry trainees rotating through general practice. That’s a future I’d welcome.

Post written by

Dr Peter Saul, Joint Chair of RCGP Wales

Dr Peter Saul qualified in 1985 and currently is a partner in Rhosllanerchrugog near Wrexham. He combines his work in the practice with his other professional passion of medical education, in the role of Associate Postgraduate Dean in the Wales Deanery. He also works one session a week running the Paediatric Allergy Clinic at Chester Hospital.

Peter has been an active member of his local RCGP faculty, serving as Chair and as Treasurer. He is also actively involved with the media, with a medical column in the local newspaper and as a regular radio contributor.

For fun he rides a bike (his favourite being his red Brompton), and when in need of a loftier perspective he flies his part owned light aircraft from Welshpool Airport. He lives on a smallholding and has three grown up children, one of whom is a junior doctor in London.

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