Congratulations and welcome to new First5s

Congratulations! Finishing training right now probably feels a little different to how you’d imagined it, but you have reached a hugely important milestone and such an achievement deserves a celebration.

As you begin to take the next steps in your career it’s only natural to reflect on the journey getting here. You’ve had to learn new skills, show resilience, and adapt quickly - everything that will make you a fantastic GP for many years to come. As part of the newest intake of GPs, you have so much to offer not just in your clinical acumen, but (so important right now) in your ability to innovate, improve and champion new ways of working.

General practice has transformed incredibly over the past 18 months. Innovations which would normally take months, or even years, have been rolled out overnight, enabling more modern and flexible ways of working. It is unlikely the profession will ever go back to how it was before the pandemic, and I’m sure there is more change and innovation to come. As a First5 GP, your skills, knowledge, and insight will put you at the heart of the conversation and offer the opportunity to shape the future of general practice.

Finishing training can be both an exciting and liberating process in your professional development but it also can bring new challenges in all domains of your life. Many opportunities will be presented to you and I would encourage you to take the time to think about what direction the start of your career will take. My advice as your First5 Chair, is to not be afraid to accept a challenge or take on new roles, general practice is not a rigid or inflexible vocation, you can make of it what you wish. 

You may have questions about the next stage of your career, or how to juggle work alongside other significant life events which often occur during this next phase. The RCGP is your College, and your First5 colleagues are here to support you navigate this landscape. There will be very few questions that fellow First5s have not encountered before! Covid-19 brings a fresh set of obstacles to be hurdled during this time, but the College is trying to be as agile as possible in our response to any new challenges to our wellbeing and profession.

We are so pleased to see you graduating from the AiT community, and we welcome you into the First5 community here at the RCGP with open arms.

About the writer

Our First5 Chair, Dr Ian Wood is a GP based in Buckinghamshire where he combines his clinical role in general practice with work within the healthcare technology sector. In his role as First5 Chair, Ian works alongside regional representatives to ensure the First5 voice is heard in relation improving the lives of early career GPs and shaping the profession for the better.  Find out more and get more involved with the College’s First5 community.