General practice doctor:
Job description

General practitioners, or GPs, provide primary and continuing medical care for patients in the community. They take account of physical, emotional and social factors when diagnosing illness and recommending the required treatment. Patients may be referred to hospital clinics for further assessment and possibly for treatment.

GPs may run specialist clinics within the practice for patients with specific conditions. They increasingly work as part of a team alongside other healthcare professionals, including community health doctors, to discuss care options for patients and their families and help patients to take responsibility for their own health.

GPs who are partners in a practice are also responsible for the running of the practice, which involves a range of administrative activities, such as employing staff, managing contracts and working within strict budgets.
Typical work activities

Tasks include:
responding to medical/health problems presented by patients including history taking, diagnosis, investigation, treatment and referral as appropriate;
maintaining confidentiality and impartiality;
commissioning healthcare by liaising with medical professionals in the community and hospitals;
promoting health education in conjunction with other health professionals;
organising preventative medical programmes for individual patients;
providing specialist clinics for specific conditions or for certain groups, e.g. diabetes, smoking cessation and new babies;
meeting targets set by the government for specific treatments, such as child immunisations;
discussing the development of new pharmaceutical products with pharmaceutical sales representatives;
managing resources to service targets as effectively as possible, for example, using Choose and Book, the national electronic referral service;
using IT skills - some practices have one partner who specialises in the use of IT within the practice but all will be expected to have basic abilities for work such as maintaining patients' records using specific packages;
keeping up to date with medical developments, new drugs, treatments and medications, including complementary medicine;
observing and assessing the work of trainee GPs and medical students and teaching at medical schools or hospitals;
maintaining a portfolio of continuing professional development (CPD) activities.

Partners in a practice may decide to expand their career portfolio and specialise in a specific area of medicine, such as obstetrics and gynaecology, psychiatry or orthopaedics. They may also specialise in areas such as IT, human resource management, medical education or training.