GP Training – What You Need To Know
If you’re considering a career in general practice, you’ll want to know about GP training pathways and the options available to you. Whether you wish to work for a private practice or the NHS, there are plenty of GP training and development opportunities for medical graduates. The role of a GP also grants autonomy and job flexibility once you’re qualified.
Here are five things you should know about GP training in the UK.
1. GP training takes 2-3 years
Once you’ve completed a medical degree, you will need to apply to the Foundation Programme to gain experience working as a GP. This training comprises foundation year one (FY1) and foundation year two (FY2) and usually involves six different rotations (also known as placements) in a medical setting. This is effectively your first paid job as a doctor, and it will help you gain both clinical and patient interaction skills. After successful completion of FY1, you will be able to apply for registration with the GMC Medical Register.
2. Qualified doctors can also apply for GP training
Those who have already qualified in another medical speciality can apply for training to become a general practitioner. To practice unsupervised as a doctor in the UK, you will still need to complete at least one year of Foundation Training.
3. Trainee GPs will take a Situational Judgement Test (SJT)
During the application process for the Foundation Programme, you will sit a multiple choice exam to assess your professional judgement. The Situational Judgement Test (SJT) website has more details, exam dates and information on how to apply. You can also use the website to test your knowledge of ethics and good medical practice before taking the SJT.
4. GP training includes an academic pathway
If you are interested in research, you might want to consider an academic career in general practice. Entry into an academic field usually involves applying for an Academic Clinical Fellowship (ACF) with a view to progressing to a Clinical Lectureship (CL) further on in your GP training.
5. GP training is ongoing
The Royal College of General Practitioners uses a credit-based system for measuring continuing professional development (CPD) for GPs, whereby one hour of learning plus a reflective record equals one credit. The RCGP stipulates that GPs need to undertake 250 hours of ongoing training every five years to remain registered. As a qualified GP, you can meet this target through a combination of practical and electronic learning. The NHS recommends allocating 50 hours per year to ongoing development.
After GP training
Once you’re qualified, you could work as a salaried GP within an established practice or become a GP partner. Some GPs also choose to work as locums, undertaking seasonal work.
The working life of a GP varies, but options for salaried GPs include working in a clinic or as part of an out-of-hours services provider. As a qualified GP, you could also undertake further GP training to specialise in another area, such as sports medicine or paediatrics.
Where to apply for GP positions
EBPCOOH is a primary care out-of-hours service offering GPs a more flexible way to work. For the latest GP vacancies and out-of-hours positions, you can visit our jobs page and apply online. Alternatively, you can contact us on for an informal discussion about your GP training or out-of-hours job search on 03000 243 333.