Transforming the careers of senior GPs

31 March 2022

Once a GP, always a GP? Does it have to be "all or nothing"?

Flexible working is not just for the young ones. As a later career GP, there are many options open to you.

A menu of opportunities

Want to change the pace? The GP Retention Scheme is aimed at GPs considering leaving the profession or who have recently retired:

  • Provides financial and educational support
  • A useful way to clearly mark your move from more demanding roles
  • Salary may be less but also workload
  • Greater job satisfaction

Want to leave general practice, but still interact with patients? These are some of the choice you might consider:

  • Extended Roles or Special Interest
  • Bespoke Salaried Posts
  • Family Planning
  • Nursing Homes
  • Medical Support Worker
  • Hospice
  • Urgent Care (A&E/OOH/NHS111)
  • Home Visiting Service
  • Drug Clinic or Homeless
  • Prison or Police Doctor
  • DWP Assessor
  • Refugees, Asylum Seekers
  • Occupational Health
  • Voluntary Service Overseas

Have you had enough of clinical medicine? Here are some of the avenues you could pursue:

  • Academic Research
  • Teacher / Examiner / Mentor
  • Appraiser
  • Committee (e.g. RCGP, PCN)
  • CQC Advisor
  • GMC Associate
  • Non-Executive Director
  • Charity Trustee / Volunteer

Leave your options open

Do you need a licence to practise? Some non-clinical posts still require a licence and a minimal clinical commitment.

Don’t fall off the performers’ list! Returning could be problematic. You can stay on the performers' list with minimal clinical input.

Consider retaining your licence and performers' listing for a year or two - it leaves more doors open.

"I look back with thanks, but forward with both compassion for the world and belief in our ability to be better than this. And in a deeper parallel, just as we as individuals consider our era, our transitions and re-birth, so must a profession consider its own, prompted by time or the times, to move on."

Amar Rughani, ‘A retired GP - looking back with thanks and forward with compassion’ BJGP Life 2020

About the writers

Monica Aquilina, Martin Wilkinson, Helen Crawley and Pamela Martin are members of the RCGP Later Career and Retired Members Committee.

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