Intended for healthcare professionals


GP recruitment: could an undergraduate apprenticeship create the generalists the NHS needs?

BMJ 2018; 363 doi: (Published 22 October 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k4408
  1. Emma Wilkinson, freelance journalist, Sheffield, UK
  1. emmalwilkinson{at}

Imperial College London is trialling a US inspired scheme that gives students their own patient caseload to help develop generalists, or “doctors who are ready for anything,” reports Emma Wilkinson

The NHS desperately needs new general practitioners. Yet with depressing regularity we see headlines about medical students being discouraged from choosing general practice as a career. Most recently, research from the University of Oxford found nearly two thirds of students view GPs as having a lower status than hospital specialists, and half thought the overall culture of their medical school had negatively influenced their views towards general practice.1

Although the number of GP training places has increased in recent years as part of the government’s strategy to recruit an additional 5000 GPs by 2020, not all those places have been filled and the GP workforce continues to decline.

However, medical educators at Imperial College London say that the problem is not simply that we are not …

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