GP opportunities – general practitioner jobs, general practitioner locums
What are the main general practitioner job opportunities?
General practitioners (GPs) are most people’s first point of contact with health services, referring them on to specialist or urgent care if necessary. As such, demand for general practitioners is high, leading to excellent employment opportunities. According to the NHS, there are 1.3m general practitioner consultations a day in the UK alone.
General practitioners usually work in large, multi-disciplinary teams that can include nurses, midwives, health visitors, pharmacists and others. In the UK, salaried general practitioners are employed by a GP practice on a pay scale according to experience. This arrangement offers job security, a range of benefits and the ability to change jobs more easily.
Are there other ways to work?
Other general practitioners operate as GP partners, which means they have much more of a say in how the practice is run and also receive a share of the profits, which can mean potentially much higher earnings. GP partners are essentially running a small business alongside their clinical work, so they will tend to stay with the same practice for longer than a salaried general practitioner and help to shape the practice’s future direction.
Many general practitioners will also choose to improve their employment prospects by undertaking further training and becoming a General Practitioner with a Special Interest. Specialisms can include anything from specific medical conditions and areas such as diabetes, renal medicine, rheumatology or dermatology to cosmetic or genomic medicine. They can also specialise in subject areas like obesity or sports medicine, or wider fields like health economics, medical education or healthcare leadership.
What about general practitioner locums?
Other GPs choose to work in a locum capacity, which can offer greater freedom and flexibility. As well as recently qualified general practitioners, highly experienced GPs and ex-GP partners may choose to work in this manner in order to widen their experience or perhaps relocate to a new area.
How healthy is the general practitioner jobs market?
General practitioner recruitment is a highly robust sector. The all-round nature of the general practitioner role – focusing holistically on areas such as mental health and social care alongside physical health – means they are much sought-after professionals. An aging population and increasing pressures on health services worldwide, meanwhile, mean that demand for general practitioners – however they choose to work – will only increase as time goes on, and with it the number of high quality general practitioner jobs vacancies.
This high level of demand also means that some qualified general practitioners choose to relocate internationally, for example to countries such as Australia or Canada, attracted by competitive salary packages and high standards of living. Pay rates in the UK, however, are also high. According to the most recent figures from NHS Digital, published in 2019, the average income for UK general practitioners –whether employed on a salaried basis or as a contractor – is almost £95,000.