How to be successful as a newly qualified GP
Mar 12 2017
Starting any new job is simultaneously exciting and nerve-wracking, but for newly qualified GPs, the pressure is on away from the safety net of tutors, mentors and fellow trainees. If you’re about to embark on your first job as a GP, read these tips to find out how to make your transition as smooth as possible.
Get onto the National Performers List
First things first, you’ll need to get your name onto the NHS National Performers List in order to start practising as a GP, so submit your forms as early as possible to avoid delays starting work. You can find the link to the application form here. Once you’ve done that, you’ll also need to find out from the General Medical Council when your revalidation date will be; get the name of the officer responsible while you’re at it.
Take out insurance
Whether you’re a full-time GP or locum doctor, you’ll need to take out indemnity insurance before you start work - it’s now the law. There’s more information about medical indemnity insurance for GPs here.
Get to know your new surgery
When you join your new surgery, take the time to read through all the induction materials available, learning the procedures and familiarising yourself with the practice’s clinical software. Keep your stress levels to a minimum by staying on top of your paperwork right from the start; with extra demands such as medicals landing on your desk, it can soon build up.
The support network you developed when you were training may seem at more of a distance now that you’re qualified, but successful GPs continually build on their own networks within their practice and beyond. Cultivate good working relationships with your new colleagues so that you’re never afraid to ask for help (or just a second opinion). And don’t neglect the receptionists - they’re a supportive presence and it’s often they who have the most knowledge of the local area and the practice’s patients.
Acknowledge that the learning never stops
Just because you’ve finished your training, it doesn’t mean that you can stop learning. The more patients you see, and the more challenged you are, the more you will learn - and even doctors who’ve been working for decades still encounter the unknown. Not only that, but with new research being published and new treatments being developed all the time, you’ll need to make a conscious effort to keep up with new developments that could help you provide better patient care.
It’s fine to ask for help from colleagues if you need to, and indeed you’ll learn more if you do. Continue your professional development by taking advantage of any opportunities to learn, including your appraisals; the GMC requires you to arrange an appraisal with a local appraisal lead before your revalidation date (you’ll receive a reminder nine months and three months before it’s due). You’ll find lots of guidance on medical appraisals here. Good luck!