What is a GP Registrar?
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 registrar 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 Registrar 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 registrars 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!
5th Year Medical Students
We also often have 5th year medical students at the practice, usually from Lancaster University.
The students are with us for 2 months at a time and learn about all aspects of family medicine. The students need to talk to and examine patients in order to learn. This is always under the supervision of a GP.
From time to time you may be asked to consult with someone in training or have them present when you are consulting with another doctor or nurse at the practice. If, however, you feel uncomfortable with this for whatever reason you are perfectly free to decline and should discuss this with the reception staff at the time. This will not impact upon your care in any way.