Top tips for thriving as a new GP
Your career as a GP will be filled with opportunity, growth and the ability to make a difference to thousands of people, but it is not without its challenges. These tips will help to get you started and comfortable with all the things you can do to embrace your new career.
The support networks you enjoyed as a trainee can seem to disappear once qualified but this needn't be the case. Actively take steps to find support, both clinical and non-clinical, ideally beyond your own practice team. Having a supportive practice is a great place to start, however there are also First5 peer support groups in some areas, or you can start your own. Social media groups, attending local events or the RCGP Annual Conference are all great ways to meet like-minded peers.
You really are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing the career for you. However, it's important to remember that you're not tied into one way of working throughout your career. Remember the choice you make should be one that works both for you and your family.
There are lots of things about working as a GP that can have an impact on your life or your plans. Applying for that first mortgage, parenthood or going off sick are all life events we may have to deal with at some point in our careers. Plan, plan, plan! Planning ahead wherever possible will usually prepare you for the nuances and unpredictability that these events can bring.
When you’re considering what path to take, it can help to know what’s involved when it comes to looking after your finances. Pensions, self-assessments, PAYE, indemnity and membership fees are just some of the things you need to be thinking about when you begin your work as a GP.
Investing in your continuing professional development (CPD) will ensure that you keep learning and contributing towards your appraisal. Make the most of opportunities available and really embrace the idea of lifelong learning.
Try to keep on top of CPD as you go along. It may seem daunting but devoting regular small amounts of time to this will save you all that cramming later along the line.
Your appraisal is a chance to reflect on what you've done, what you've learnt, and to focus on the future and what you'd like to achieve. They should be a positive experience where you can chat freely and openly with your appraiser.
Make contact early with your appraiser to become familiar. Find out if they have any particular requests from you such as when to release your portfolio, or the timing and location of your appraisal meeting.
Being a GP offers a fantastic career, however it can sometimes be stressful and overwhelming when you are not feeling your best. We’ve provided a section in Chapter 3 dedicated to helping you get support and spotting the signs that you might need some help. We’re here to help and support you.
Remember all those things you used to enjoy, before life got taken over with exams and studying? Now’s the time to rediscover them. It’s vital to have ways to relax and let off steam. If you don’t currently have a hobby, explore your options and consider starting something new.
Get your teeth into your clinical interests and take opportunities to develop them. Your interests keep GPs moving forward in knowledge and expertise, so it’s well worth pursuing them.
If you enjoy your job, then that’s great. But if you don’t, you can change it. That’s the beauty of being a GP.
You have the chance to decide how you work, what you specialise in and who you help. So if you're keen for change, then go ahead and take the plunge.
Through mentoring, professional networks, and sharing experiences, we're here to help you build your career, every step of the way.
If you are an AiT, when you attain CCT your membership will be automatically upgraded to First5 membership - our member grade for GPs in their first five years of independent practice.
What’s more, our membership fees are discounted for your first two years after qualification.
Just qualified? Let's celebrate!
If you've just qualified, congratulations! Celebrate your achievement of becoming a qualified practitioner and attaining membership of the College with peers, friends and family.
Feel #GPReady with our First5 handbook, providing all the transition advice you need to help settle into your new role. Plus, get peer-to-peer advice for preparing your next steps.
Learn to lead, grow in confidence and foster softer skills using our First5 Learning Pathway. And find your first job or next career move with RCGP Jobs.
Appraisal and revalidation support
Stay on track with our appraisal support, tailored learning resources (free for First5 members), courses and conferences (with member discounts).
Free Appraisal Toolkit
Get prepared for your appraisal with free access to the FourteenFish Appraisal Toolkit for the duration of your First5 membership.
Reassurance and belonging
Wherever you're working, feel the reassurance of being part of a diverse community, both locally and digitally.
Exclusive member offers
Save money on the things that matter to you, with exclusive offers from leading brands and retailers through RCGP Plus.
Get involved and lend your voice
Lend your views and voice to collectively shape the future of general practice. Get involved or be part of a strong collective voice on representing what matters most to the future of our profession.
GP training and registration: Who's who
We've put together a guide which makes it easier to understand which GP organisation does what.
The First5 Committee is made up of elected First5 faculty leads throughout the UK. They are here to represent the interests of First5 members and through the First5 Chair, who has a seat at Council, act as the conduit for local matters to be raised at our national meetings.
Emma Wong - First5 Chair
I’m a First5 GP in Sheffield, having CCT’d in February 2021. Having worked as a salaried GP, and done some locum and OOH work on the side, I’m now a GP partner. I also represent First5 GPs in my Faculty region of South Yorkshire North Trent. As your rep, I’m keen that the transition from AiT to First5 is as painless as possible - it can be scary losing that safety net of debrief and the support you get from your VTS peers. As First5s, we have a national network of reps, who are a great source of information and advice, and can let you know what’s happening in your area. You can find your Faculty and introductions from your reps below, or on our member forum.
Sunday Agbese (the First5 Vice Chair) and I are keen to hear your views and what the College can do to support you - so if you do have any questions or ideas, please do feel free to ask them here or get in touch via email.
We look forward to meeting you all - and welcome again to our network.
Dr Udenyi Sunday Agbese - First5 Vice Chair
I got my MBBS from ABU Zaria which is the largest university south of the Sahara and north of the Limpopo.
I have experienced the practice of family medicine in a range of settings including Africa, America, and the UK. I have been a medical doctor for over ten years and a member of the RCGP since Dec 2020. I am also a sessional GP working across Kent and London, driven by challenge, undeterred by obstacles, and committed to furthering standards of excellence. I believe in the Ubuntu philosophy, and bring these strengths and more to the First5 committee as Vice Chair.
Ebrahim Mulla - Leicester
Thuva Amuthalingam - Midlands
I am a GP with special interest in dermatology, minor surgery and aesthetics working in Birmingham and Black country. I also work as a strategy consultant with a particular interest in digital health. As the STP First 5 network facilitator, I would like to promote a good work-life balance in general practice through self-care and portfolio careers in order to help recruitment and retention.
Preanka Chandan - Midland
I’m currently First 5 Co-Lead Representative on the Midland Faculty Board and a salaried GP based in the West Midlands. I enjoy the diversity of General Practice and have a keen interest in Medication Education and Women’s Health. As part of my role, I would like to ensure colleagues have a smooth transition from being a AiT member to First5 GP and be a point of contact for any concerns or queries.
James Waldron - Vale of Trent
I’m James Waldron and I’m Co-Lead for Vale of Trent Faculty. I live and practice in Nottingham since I moved here as a student and have loved it so much I have subsequently completed my training here and now have settled here. I believe the East Midlands is a great place to be. Nottingham feels like one of the best cities to live in the country with so much going on and so much development and excitement. The region is so diverse with ever developing urban areas contrasted with large rural communities makes it a varied and rewarding place to work and live. Twitter: @jammiestdodgers
Joana Santos - Beds and Herts
Clare Routledge - East Anglia
Alice Cozens - East Anglia
Muddasar Ahmed - East Anglia
Rebecca Farndale - East Anglia
Vacant - Essex
Shani Gray - North East London
I work as a salaried GP in North London, am clinical lead for the digital care homes programme at North Central London CCG and am a medical education fellow at UCL. I completed a Darzi fellowship and PGCert in Healthcare Leadership prior to this so have a real interest in working across systems and learning about clinical leadership. My aims as a First5 rep are to 1) nurture and continue to grow a strong support network for GPs in NE London; 2) hold high quality, accessible educational events; 3) engage with important issues on social justice in primary care such as race and gender inequalities.
Amrita Sen Mukherjee - South East Thames
I am a portfolio GP working in London and Kent specialising in Wellbeing. I am an EMCC accredited Coach and work to support people in a manner that allows them to achieve their optimum levels of wellbeing. I also work in medical education and have been received as a Member of the Academy of Medical Educators. My aim is to continue working in peer advocacy roles to improve diversity and inclusion.
Alex Lai - South London
My work and values centre around connection, community, education and support. I specialise in mental health and the wellbeing of healthcare professionals and I’m the First5 Wellbeing Officer, happy to be contacted for advice or queries by clicking this profile. I currently work as a GP in South London, chair Wandsworth LMC, run The WorkWell Doctors and support GP trainees returning to practice for HEE. Together with my role as Pan London First5AiT Chair I aim to encourage inter-deanery education, collaboration and opportunities as well as expand the network of peer groups I have created, whilst advocating for First5 members to ensure they receive adequate support and resources from RCGP.
Raisha Nurani - South West Thames
I am a Salaried GP working in South West London, with a specialist interest in Women's Health and Medical Education. I achieved my master’s in medical education in 2018 and have been working with my current VTS cohort as a Training Programme Director. I see my role as First Five Lead in Supporting my peers and giving us a platform to help support us through the nuances of being a new GP. I am hoping to really help foster a collaborative group where we can support each other and create partnerships that will help us throughout our career.
Shanthala Mallaiah - Thames Valley
I work as a Salaried GP at the Berkshire HealthCare NHS Foundation Trust, WestCall. I Graduated in India at Mysore Medical College, have completed Diploma in Otolaryngology and done DRCOG. I also work for NHS 111 and Thames Valley Integrated urgent care. I do regular GP sessions for the University Medical Practice. I am a DMP for Non-Medical Independent and Prescribing course and support paramedics to become independent prescribers. I have been RCGP First5 Rep and then Co-lead since 2017. Together with my co-leads we have organised a successful First5 conference, ease events and webinars. I would continue to organise educational events, guidance, Peer support and career development post CCT.
Grant Su - South London
I trained in South London and am currently a part salaried and locum GP in Brixton with an interest in dermatology and nursing home care. I'm looking forward to working alongside my colleagues to support newly qualified GPs to really hit the ground running in terms of practical tips, finding jobs and finance, further development and exploring career aspirations. I would like to focus on helping First5 GPs think about ways to enrich their working lives with interesting and innovative roles and how the RCGP FIrst5 and local faculty events and community can help achieve this.
Sumera Angus - South London
Harry Wyatt - North and West London
Shan Prabhakar - Thames Valley
Shan Prabhakar I work as a Salaried GP at the Berkshire HealthCare NHS Foundation Trust, WestCall. I Graduated in India at Mysore Medical College, have completed Diploma in Otolaryngology and done DRCOG. I also work for NHS 111 and Thames Valley Integrated urgent care. I do regular GP sessions for the University Medical Practice. I am a DMP for Non-Medical Independent and Prescribing course and support paramedics to become independent prescribers. I have been RCGP First5 Rep and then Co-lead since 2017. Together with my co-leads we have organised a successful First5 conference, ease events and webinars. I would continue to organise educational events, guidance, Peer support and career development post CCT.
Sarah Thurgood - South East Thames
Diptarsi Sen - Thames Valley
I am a portfolio GP, currently working in a salaried role for six sessions with special interests in Paediatrics and Dermatology. I was privileged to be elected to become an AiT co-Lead representative (2017-20) where I represented all GP trainees from Thames valley. I hope to focus on the following key areas over the next couple of years: Promote educational events which will increase our insight into things that matter specifically to us such as GP partnerships, development of the new primary care workforce and management of finances. Work to improve First5 representation in various working groups within the RCGP. Communicate issues that directly impact First5 GPs with stakeholders within the RCGP, and most importantly, promote well-being and welfare of First5 GPs
Rebecca Saveker - Military
Currently serving as a Regimental Medical Officer in Catterick, I have just returned from operational deployment as the Senior Medical Officer for Op SHADER. I maintain a keen interest in medical education and pre-hospital emergency care and am one of the leads for the military Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief Special Interest Group. As a First 5 rep, I aim to develop the education opportunities for new military GP’s, and the relationship between the College and the Defence Medical Services to allow sharing of knowledge and opportunities to benefit both.
Daniel Hawkins - Military
My name is Dan Hawkins and I am the Royal Navy First 5 Rep. I currently work at HMS Collingwood, a large naval training base in the Portsmouth area. As a deployable GP, I have been lucky to travel all over the world, and in the last year alone have been fortunate enough to serve in Antarctica, Brazil and the Caribbean – definitely a ‘life less ordinary’. My main aims as a First 5 Lead are to help to evolve the links between military GP’s and the RCGP, as well as improving access to meaningful CPD that can be accessed by our GP’s who are deployed overseas and often in austere environments.
Jane Archer - Military
Vacant - Rural
We are always looking for talented GPs. Get involved to help us improve our First5 offer.
Matthew Fortnam - Humber and the Ridings
I work as a GP Partner in Hull, working as an eight-session partner for Haxby Group, which supports a range of diverse communities across Hull, York and Scarborough. Prior to that, I graduated at the Hull York Medical School in 2012 and have subsequently worked in the area in a variety of settings, giving me a good insight into the challenges of healthcare provision in the locality. In my role as GP Partner, I also have a role within the local Workforce and Training Hub, hosted by Haxby Group. I also recently became a GP trainer and helped present the Next Generation GP Programme in the locality. My main area of interests therefore include medical training and education, leadership and tackling health inequalities which is what has driven me to continue in my work as RCGP First5 Rep for the Humber, Coast and Vale.
Azza Elghonaimy - Yorkshire
I am the Yorkshire Faculty lead. I live and work in the West Yorkshire region. I completed my training as LTFT in May 2017, during which I also completed my DCH. Initially, I was the First5 lead for Bradford and the Faculty Vice-chair prior to taking up the role in June 2019, I am also the RCGP First5 Co-lead for Community and Conference. I aim to support my peers in their early years post CCT via; guidance, wellbeing support, organising various CPD/non-CPD events, and finally voicing any suggestions or concerns on behalf of my peers. Please do get in touch if I can be of any help.
Ish Saxena - North West England
Dornubari Lebari - Cumbria
Bohan Wang - Mersey
I am a full-time salaried GP based in Liverpool. I have completed my training in 2018. As a First 5 rep I would like to facilitate organising events that will provide support and network for newly qualified GPs in the region.
Emma Wong - South Yorkshire and North Trent
My name's Emma, and I'm a salaried GP in Sheffield. I graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2015, and have worked across South and East Yorkshire. Prior to taking on the First5 Lead role, I was the SYNT Faculty AiT Representative. I also help deliver the Next Generation GP Programme in the region (a great resource for First5s). As your rep, I'm here to help you through the first 5 years post qualification - whether that's making sure the College is providing you with the tools and educational resources you need, organising socials, or just being a sounding board for advice on the region. I'm keen to improve links between the different local areas in the Faculty, and we do have a WhatsApp group for communication - please feel free to join this if you'd like to be kept up to date.
Lynsey Rae - North East England
Uwadiae Ima-Edomwonyi - North West England
Douglas Naismith - North East Scotland
My name is Doug Naismith. I am a salaried GP at Alford Medical Practice in Aberdeenshire. I am passionate about student teaching and promoting general practice. It is so important during this time of rapid change that we are involved in the conversations so that our opinions are heard.
Katherina Tober - South East Scotland
I am currently employed as a salaried GP in Edinburgh and also do regular out-of-hours work. I am passionate about education and leadership and I work for the University of Edinburgh teaching medical students and organising and delivering the undergraduate medical curriculum. During my tenure as First 5 lead I would like to enhance the visibility of the work of the College by improving communication and collaboration nationally and also want to encourage First 5s that currently there are great opportunities to get involved in changing and shaping the future of the College.
Gorkem Hamali and Issmael Fergague - West Scotland
Daniel Simpson - North Scotland
Paula Roberts - East Scotland
Golnessa Masson - East Scotland
Sam Gillett - Severn
I am a Sessional GP in the Bristol region, and have interests in sustainability and expedition and wilderness medicine. My aim as First5 lead is to facilitate interesting events for First5 GPs in the Severn faculty region and promote the benefits of RCGP membership.
Lucy Williamson - Tamar (maternity leave until October 2022)
Sarah Michaels - Tamar
I'm an 8-session salaried GP at Launceston Medical Centre, just moved here from London. Special interests are neurodiversity (I'm autistic) and gastroenterology. In my former life I was an actress (studied Drama at Exeter uni), secretary and personal trainer. I love fitness, musicals and electronic dance music. For my sanity I hope to reduce my GP workload by 2 sessions a week and have a successful aesthetics clinic. I'd like to have a supportive gang to share ideas, and to help shape an improved future of general practice.
Need something else?
As an RCGP member there’s always someone you can ask.