A recruitment video to convince medical students that being a GP is not a dull career has been launched in order to tackle a shortage of GPs across England.
The three minute film features doctors talking about their work and has been launched by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), which claims at least 10,000 extra GPs will be needed by 2020.
The video has been created as the RCGP says that it wants to tackle stereotypes of general practice being less exciting than other careers. The film will be shown at a series of regional road shows around the UK and timed to coincide with the recruitment round when medical graduates decide their training specialty.
The chairwoman of the RCGP, Dr Maureen Baker, said: “Reality programmes and dramas set in hospitals are always fast-paced and thrilling.
“But programmes about being a GP are very few and far between, and mostly reinforce outdated stereotypes about GPs handing out cough medicine and referring the more difficult cases to consultants.
“This video – and the GPs who appear in it – show that nothing could be further from the truth.
“While it might be unusual for a medical royal college to make a promotional video, we hope it will make a tangible impact.”
The RCGP has been campaigning for more investment in general practice, and it believes the tide is now turning.
The BBC reports that a package of measures to help encourage recruitment and retention among GPs will be launched. This will include a new scheme to encourage family doctors who may be considering a career break or retirement to instead remain working part-time.
The new measures will be funded by money from the £1.2bn investment announced in the Autumn Statement as part of a four-year plan to improve GP infrastructure.
Last year, around 20% of the 7,341 doctors who completed foundation training chose to work in general practice, with the RCGP saying that the number of unfilled GP posts went up from 2.1% in 2010 to 7.9% in 2013.
Ministers in England have committed to train 5,000 more GPs by the end of the decade.