Intended for healthcare professionals


A third of GPs in Wales are considering changing career, says BMA

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: (Published 17 October 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i5586
  1. Abi Rimmer
  1. BMJ Careers
  1. arimmer{at}

Almost a third of GPs in Wales are considering changing their career, and half would not recommend a career in general practice, a survey conducted by the BMA has found.

An online survey of 244 GPs in Wales, carried out in August 2016, found that 27% of respondents were considering a career change and 14% were considering moving abroad.1

The survey also found that 50% of GPs said that they would not recommend a career in general practice. However, the BMA said that written answers to the survey showed GPs’ “dedication and the potential for general practice to be a positive place to work.”

The majority of those who responded to the survey (82%) said that they were worried about the sustainability of their practice, and two thirds (61%) said that they did not have a good work-life balance. In addition, over half (58%) said that their work-life balance had worsened over the past 12 months.

The findings were published by the BMA at the same time as it launched a new campaign called “An urgent prescription for general practice in Wales.” The BMA Wales GP Committee said that it was calling for increased capacity to see and spend time with patients; increased practice funding; more staff to support GPs; and less box ticking.

Charlotte Jones, chair of the committee, said, “It is clear that for many GPs, their career is having a negative impact on their quality of life. Outside of this, it is evident that these professionals share a common and genuine concern about the ability of general practice to deliver a high quality service to patients as things currently stand.”

She added, “We know that things need to change. At a very simple level, we know that there are not enough GPs in Wales and, for those who do work here, workload pressure and working conditions are resulting in them reducing their working hours or considering a career change.”