Giving up …. or stopping?

8th November 2010 by Judith Harvey

When I first became a GP, there was a problem with easing octogenarians out of the practices they had served for more than half a century. Then came Mrs Thatcher’s purchaser-provider split and a new GP contract. Suddenly grey-haired GPs became an endangered species and no-one wanted to go into general practice. Now in 2007 there are not enough openings to go round for newly trained GPs, and their older colleagues seem to be finding more options for the last years of their working lives.

NASGP’s membership includes doctors of all ages. There are will-be partners, have-been partners, may-be partners and wont-be partners. I fall into the second category, and like many colleagues have found that flexibility as a sessional or freelance GP has returned to me control over my work and my life, and restored my enjoyment in seeing patients. It has been a great six years.

Now I am about to give up. “NO!” said a friend who has already done so, “We are not giving up, we are stopping.”   We doctors have a strong tendency to do guilt, and if you were lucky enough to secure a place to train as a mature student, as I was, you have even more to beat yourself up over. But we should not apologise when we recognise that it is time to move on.

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"I was introduced to the local locum chambers several months ago when I made a career move from partnership. I now combine salaried and locum roles. The chambers provides helpful support, leadership, advice and governance and reduces professional isolation. This combination of support reassures me and helps me provide safe and consistent care to patients within the community . There is a useful, innovative online portal - LocumDeck - which helps me access local work and which has efficient systems for reconciliation of finance including pensions. I would highly recommend joining a locum chambers for any GPs starting out in the locum world ."

Dr Adrian Richardson

Dr Adrian Richardson

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