As we are now a training practice, it means that fully-qualified doctors, who have usually completed their 4 years of training in hospital medicine can spend up to eighteen months working in a practice to develop their skills in general practice.
What is a GP Trainee?
This is a qualified doctor who has decided to embark on a career in general practice, much like a surgeon or physician in the hospital. Like these doctors, part of their training involves them spending a total of 18 months working at a teaching practice. This is usually divided into a 6 month and 12 month attachment.
How much experience do they have?
By the time you see a GP trainee, they will have spent at least 5 years at medical school to qualify as a doctor. Then they will have done 2 years working in hospitals (previously known as “house jobs”). They will then start a 3 year training programme to become a GP, during which they will spend 18 months in a training practice. Often the GP trainee will have more up to date knowledge on hospital treatment and service than we do as they have just come from a hospital job. So by the time you see this doctor they may well have been working as a doctor for 4 years.
Why do they have to ask other GPs in the practice for advice?
There is a vast difference in the range and types of clinical cases and patients seen in general practice compared to hospital medicine. In a surgical job at the hospital a doctor will only see surgical cases every day, in general practice an average surgery may consist of a general medical case, then an ill child, then patient with a skin rash then a patient with depression etc. So there is a wide variety which can be quite challenging when you start in general practice. The GP trainees are encouraged to ask for help whenever they want for your safety and benefit so please be patient, one day these doctors will also be competent GPs.
F2 Doctors – The Foundation Programme
The Foundation Programme is a two year period of supervised clinical practice for qualified doctors. It is the period of training between someone completing a medical degree and going on to higher training in a medical speciality. The foundation programme consists of a series of clinical posts that are put together to ensure that foundation doctors gain relevant skills and experience. Most doctors in their second year of foundation training (F2) have a post in general practice. The post allows the F2 doctor to follow patients through the entire patient experience, from the presentation of acute and chronic illness, through to investigation, diagnosis and management. All F2 doctors have completed a medical degree and 12 months of clinical experience.
Consultations with F2 Doctors
You may see an F2 doctor either on their own or with another doctor. A GP at this practice will ensure that the F2 doctor is practicing safely and will provide help and support when required. They will also be working with the F2 to ensure that they gain all they can from the learning opportunities presented in this practice.
The practice supports F2 training but you can decline to be seen by an F2 doctor without having to give a reason and your care will not be affected in any way. If you would prefer not to see an F2 doctor please inform the receptionist.