A Highland GP on life the universe and anything…

GP Career Flow

RCGP Scotland has been developing the idea that to tackle to GP recruitment crisis it will be necessary to look at actions that will be effective from start to finish of a GPs career. This concept has been developed from evidence of effectiveness of a similar approach to remote and rural health care in an international context of the GP pipeline. It was also the basis of some of the recommendations of the RCGP Scotland Being Rural  document. This concept was developed further with other stakeholders and developed into a Mind-map: –

GP Career Flow v2.1

This has informed a long list of possible actions to support GP recruitment: –

Secondary School

  1. Outreach programmes from Universities to schools.
  2. Increase intake of Scottish domiciled students
  3. Contextualised admissions to ensure rural/deprived representation, male female equality etc.


  1. Address derogatory treatment of GP and similar specialties (GP Bashing) by other specialties.
  2. Increase profile of GP in undergraduate curriculum
  3. “Dewar Bursaries” to support remote and rural attachments in GP for undergraduates
  4. Longitudinal Integrated Clinical Clerkships such as being developed by University of Dundee where some students will spend their entire 4th year completing their syllabus from the basis of a GP setting.
  5. Building GP teaching capacity across Scotland
  6. Incentivise Universities to produce doctors who choose GP as a specialty training destination
  7. Support Undergraduate GP societies
  8. Increase clarity of ACT funding to ensure it follows students to GP placements
  9. Creation of a new Graduate Medical School with an emphasis on GP and community teaching

Foundation years

  1. Increase access to GP placements in FY2 and consider placements in FY1 to allow informed career decision making
  2. Promote NES Career Development posts

GP Specialty Training

  1. Address flexibility of GP career options
  2. Promote Broad Based Training opportunities
  3. Introduce Enhanced 4 year training
  4. “Step on, Step off” training opportunities

Career Posts

  1. Mentoring and support for “First5s
  2. Promote GP Retainer schemes
  3. Promote GP returner scheme
  4. Consider how to facilitate move from hospital to GP practice
  5. Enhance and extend GP academic research opportunities
  6. Enhance and provide recognition for GP tutors and specialty trainers
  7. Build GP leadership opportunities
  8. Provide targeted support to immigration
  9. Build in time to GMS contract for administration, reflection, professional development and quality improvement
  10. Reduce workload intensity by building non-medical workforce

From beginning to end 

  1. Provide Career guidance and mentoring support

We hope to work with or stakeholders to create an approach to GP recruitment and retention that will provide a sustainable future for general practice.


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