Intended for healthcare professionals


Is there a clinical future for the general practitioner?

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 22 May 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:1420
  1. Toby Lipman (, General practitioner and Northern and Yorkshire research training fellow
  1. Westerhope Medical Group, Westerhope, Newcastle upon Tyne NE5 2LH

    EDITOR—At the recent “Clinical Futures” conference, and in the book,1 a subtheme emerged about the perceived redundancy of the general practitioner. Diagnosis would be genotypic rather than phenotypic, treatment in the primary care setting would mostly be given by nurses or paramedics, and anything complicated would require secondary care, which could be accessed directly.

    It is already clear that a large proportion of current general practitioners' workload could be carried out by nurses (but this is nothing new—Tudor Hart …

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