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General practitioners (GPs) provide primary and continuing medical care for patients in the community. They take account of physical, emotional and social factors when diagnosing illness and recommending the required treatment.
GPs also refer patients to hospital clinics for further assessment or treatment and may run specialist clinics within the practice for patients with specific conditions.
GPs work as part of a team alongside other healthcare professionals, including community health doctors, to discuss care options for patients and their families and help patients to take responsibility for their own health.
Those who are partners in a practice are also responsible for the running of the practice, which involves a range of administrative and business activities, such as employing staff, managing contracts and working within strict budgets.
Specific responsibilities vary greatly depending on the area of specialism. However, generic duties of the job include:
- undertaking patient consultations and physical examinations
- organising workloads
- performing surgical procedures
- providing general pre- and post-operative care
- monitoring and administering medication
- assessing and planning treatment requirements
- liaising daily with staff including other doctors, non-medical management staff and healthcare professionals
- writing reports and maintaining records
- promoting health education
- a degree in medicine, recognised by the General Medical Council (GMC);
- a two-year foundation course of general training;
- Specialist training in general practices.