General practice makes perfect
- By: Alice James
Around half of medical students will end up training to become GPs. Yet this career pathway is viewed by many students as a “soft option”—consigning you to a lifetime of colds and ingrown toenails. I recently heard a fellow medical student remark to another: “Don’t take this offensively, but I think you’d make a really good GP.” Where does this disregard for general practice as a career stem from, and why do some medical schools produce disproportionately fewer GPs?
In the latest UK Foundation Programme Office national F2 career destination survey,1 medical students from Bristol University were ranked third (after Cambridge and Oxford) in the list of universities whose medical students are least likely to train as GPs. At Bristol the course is separated into the lecture based preclinical period followed by the clinical years, which are predominantly spent in the hospital environment. Lectures are often given by hospital consultants,