A General practitioner (GP), also known as a family physician (FP), is a medical doctor who provides primary care. The term is commonly used in the United Kingdom and certain Commonwealth nations, whereas "physician" typically denotes specialists in non-Commonwealth countries.
Roles and Responsibilities
GPs/FPs treat a wide array of acute and chronic illnesses, catering to both genders and all age groups. They play a pivotal role in health education and preventative care, aiming to improve the overall health status of the community they serve.
Some GPs/FPs extend their care to hospitalized patients, perform minor surgical procedures, and provide obstetrics services. These additional services may vary based on the healthcare system of the respective country, additional qualifications of the GP, and the needs of the patients.
Education and Training
The training to become a GP/FP varies globally. Typically, it includes a bachelor's degree in medicine, followed by postgraduate training in general practice. In certain jurisdictions, GPs/FPs are encouraged to acquire further specializations in areas such as women's health, mental health, or geriatrics.
Challenges and Opportunities
The role of the GP/FP is evolving in the face of changing global health trends, advances in healthcare technology, and shifts in patient expectations. GPs/FPs today are required to manage an increasingly complex patient demographic, often with multiple chronic conditions.
- The Shipman Enquiry
- American Board of Family Medicine
- Family Doctor- Online information on health
- American Academy of Family Physicians
- GPs’ Qualification Royal College of General Practitioners RCGP UK
- GP Careers Forum
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