Views & Reviews From the Frontline

General practitioners and hospital doctors: the great divide

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 29 September 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c5343
  1. Des Spence, general practitioner, Glasgow
  1. destwo{at}

Recently I apologised for some poorly made and insensitive comments about hospital consultants. This made me reflect on an old open wound, the relationship between consultants and general practitioners. When I was a student, medical education was the preserve of hospitals. The prevailing notion was that general practitioners were on the nice but dim side and were largely just failed hospital doctors. Anybody could be a GP, went the story. Nurses and physiotherapists joined the culture of GP bashing. But hospitals were not for me, and I travelled to “GP land,” leaving behind me many doctors that I deeply respected and some I did not.

After an excellent training …

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