Attributes of a good GP

  1. Values and Attitudes
    Fully trained general practitioners are expected to be:
  1. caring and understanding of patients and their families;
  2. committed to providing high quality care;
  3. aware of the need to be readily accessible and available to patients;
  4. aware of their own limitations and willing to seek help from others when appropriate;
  5. committed to keeping up to date with developments in practice – both clinical and organisational;
  6. committed to improving the quality of their professional performance through active participation in audit and quality assurance;
  7. aware of the ethical principles which govern the medical profession and committed to observing them;
  8. appreciative of the value of teamwork to patient care in general practice;
  9. willing to teach others, including colleagues and practice staff, and willing to acquire the teaching skills necessary for this;
  10. willing to contribute, when possible, to the advancement of medical knowledge.
  11. able to care for themselves and to balance the demands of a busy professional life with the need for personal time.
  • Clinical Competence
    General practitioners are expected to be:

    1. knowledgeable about clinical general practice. This will require an appropriate level of understanding of the physical, behavioural, epidemiological and clinical sciences of medicine, the aetiology and natural history of diseases, the impact of psychological factors upon illness, and of illness upon patients and their families, and of the social, cultural and environmental factors that contribute to health and illness;
    2. skilled in recognising and making appropriate decisions about all problems presented by their patients.
    3. able to examine a patient’s physical and mental state and to investigate further as appropriate;
    4. able to assess symptoms and physical signs, to establish a diagnosis when possible, and to exercise sound clinical judgement in further management;
    5. skilled in communication and in the process of the consultation. This will include the ability to listen carefully and to explain effectively to patients, families, colleagues and others, and the ability to involve patients in decisions about their health care;
    6. able to contribute to the prevention of illness and the promotion of health, and to understand a doctor’s role and that of others in these;
    7. able and willing to deal with common medical emergencies appropriately;
    8. able to prescribe effectively and with due thought to economy;
    9. able to keep clear, coherent and up-to-date medical records for each patient using a format that enables information to be easily identified for clinical and auditing purposes.
  • Organisational Ability
    General practitioners are expected to be:

    1. able to assess the health status, needs and expectations of the practice population;
    2. able to plan, organise and manage a practice to provide a broad range of accessible services including the management of acute and chronic illness, medical emergencies, health promotion and preventive activities;
    3. able to function as a member of a multidisciplinary, practice based team and, when appropriate, able to assume the responsibilities of a team leader. This will involve an understanding and appreciation of the roles, responsibilities and skills of other health care workers such as community nurses, practice nurses, health visitors and midwives;
    4. able to make effective use of resources including, for example, money, time, skills, both within and outwith the practice setting;
    5. able to organise and carry out effective clinical audit; and have the skills necessary to bring about change in the practice where audit shows this to be necessary;
    6. conversant with and willing to participate in the work of organisations that advise, plan and assist in the development and administration of health services, such as NHS authorities, medical Royal Colleges, professional associations, local medical committees and regional medical committees.

Joint Committee on Postgraduate Training for General Practice 1992

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