GP part-time potential is just what the doctor ordered

Growing
numbers of young doctors are opting to become GPs because hospital careers
offer fewer opportunities to work part-time, according to the British Medical
Association (BMA).

The
research of 490 doctors who graduated in 1995 also highlights concerns about
patient care when new limits on junior doctors’ hours are introduced in less
than two weeks’ time.

Almost
three-quarters of the doctors surveyed are either working part-time (25 per
cent) or would like to in future (45 per cent).

The
flexibility of general practice is the main reason for a sharp rise in the numbers
choosing to become family doctors. Almost half (46 per cent) of the GPs
surveyed were working less than full-time, compared to less than 10 per cent of
hospital doctors.

Dr
Jo Hilborne, deputy chairman of the BMA’s Junior Doctors Committee, said the
results highlight the need for better work-life balance for all doctors.

"Working
in a hospital is often very demanding, and balancing responsibility to patients
with the needs of a family can be stressful,” she said. “Given the changing
expectations of doctors, hospitals are going to have significant staffing
problems if they don’t extend opportunities to work flexibly."

By Michael Millar

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