GP (General Practitioner)

General practitioners (GPs) are doctors who provide medical services to people in their local community.

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you could:

  • give general health advice to patients in person or on the phone
  • diagnose patients' symptoms and refer to specialist consultants if needed
  • prescribe medicines, recommend treatments and carry out minor surgery
  • do research and help to train other healthcare professionals
  • organise and lead clinics for specific groups of patients or medical conditions

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of medicine
  • science skills
  • knowledge of psychology
  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Industry Qualifications

To become a GP you'll need to complete:

  • a degree recognised by the General Medical Council which takes 5 years
  • a foundation course of general training which takes 2 years
  • general practice specialist training which takes 3 years

 If you already have a degree in a science subject, you could do a postgraduate degree in medicine which takes 4 years.

 If you do not have any science qualifications, you might be able to do a degree in medicine which takes 6 years and includes a pre-medical year.

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