General Practice

General description of the work General Practitioners undertake

General Practitioners (GPs) deal with the care and management of patients in the community. They are involved in the initial diagnosis and treatment of most medical conditions. They undertake the initial investigations and refer on to hospital and out–patient care those patients who need Specialist attention. They also monitor patients in the community after they have been discharged from hospital.

Most common clinical areas / procedures leading to a claim of clinical negligence

  • Delay in diagnosis of serious conditions
  • Delay in referral to a Specialist
  • Inadequate monitoring of chronic illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension
  • Inadequate early investigation of symptoms that later develop into a serious conditions such as cancer
  • Failure to diagnose meningitis
  • Minor surgery in general practice

Sub–Specialities / Alternative and Additional job titles

The General Practitioner is also known as a GP or a General Medical Practitioner. In the United States he/she may be known as a Primary Care Physician.

Usual Qualifications

The General Practitioner will have a basic medical degree such as MB BS. Some GPs will have MRCGP or FRCGP (Member or Fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners) after their name.

Academic Appointments

The General Practitioner may hold a Lectureship or Professorship in General Practice or in Primary Care.
Some GPs are also GP Trainers (they are involved in the training of junior doctors who are becoming GPs).