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Why work as a GP trainer?

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We all know how important it is to train up the next generation of people for GP jobs. But would you consider becoming a GP trainer? In the role you train and mentor the new GPs for six months or even a year at a time, assessing them throughout. Your protégées will most likely be at different stages of their training when they come to you.

It appears that, whilst being a GP trainer takes a lot of effort, it also offers benefits and job satisfaction which may make it appealing to those already in GP jobs.

Recently we spoke to Dr Katie Houston, GP training programme director for Harrogate GP Speciality training scheme, about her experiences in the role. Whilst the exact steps may vary depending on your location in the UK, the process – and of course the job itself – is relatively similar. We learned a lot about why a GP might be inspired to follow this path.


Becoming a GP trainer:

  • If you want to do it, your surgery has to be accredited. So for example, you may need to provide examples of your consultation skills and practice team-working abilities to ensure you and the practice can provide a supportive learning environment.
  • Then (in Yorkshire & the Humber at least) you would be funded to take a year’s Post Graduate Certificate in Medical Education.
  • On successful completion of the course, your practice may be visited by to review that it is suitable to start training. Then you are formally interviewed and appointed.
  • Once approved as a GP Trainer, you will have to go through a re-approval process every five years, to ensure you’re still fit for the role.


Why might you want to be a GP trainer?

  • Training keeps you up-to-date with all of the most recent developments.
  • It gives you a different slant on General Practice work, which in turn can help to keep you motivated.
  • You gain a new support peer-support network.
  • As an individual you can enjoy the credit of your efforts, and as a practice you’ll generally have an enhanced reputation.
  • It also benefits the practice in that, if you are training a great GP, you’re in a better position to keep them.
  • There’s a great feeling of satisfaction in helping the next generation of GPs learn. Being a trainer allows you to be involved in a GP’s working life at most stages of their development.
  • It’s nice to have an additional qualification and an opportunity to develop as an educator.


There’s certainly plenty to think about – and becoming a GP trainer could be just what you need in your career. But even if you’re considering a new challenge in your GP job, it’s worth taking a look at our GP vacancies by clicking the button below:

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