General practitioners (GPs) are physicians in the medical profession whose training is such as to provide relevant care that addresses multiple and general ailments without specializing in any area of medicine. As such GPs are suited for conditions that demand urgent attention, especially when the symptoms are too general to be referred to a specialized doctor. Based on the patient’s psychosocial and biological factors – nature of ailment, gender, age etc. they proceed to find a remedy for such. They therefore address themselves to chronic and medical conditions as well as prescribing disease prevention methods and general medical health education.
General practitioner work activities
General practitioners in most cases will be the first medical personnel a patient encounters at the hospital, tasked with responsibility of health-care provision and even refer recommending specialized treatment when they consider it necessary on the basis of the results of their examination. They have the capacity to diagnose ailments and prescribe the relevant remedy as well as giving sound medical advice.
Check also General practitioner educational requirements and training.
General practitioner duties and responsibilities
The nature of their training makes GPs best suited for individual or collective management and administration of a private practice. The maintenance of patient records as well as coordination and facilitating other health practitioners and support stuff are some of the responsibilities involved. The writing of statistical reports, births and diseases handled in a hospitals or child immunization reports also falls under the purview of medical practitioners in managerial positions.
Additionally they would organize health education forums for various groups of patients such as diabetes patients. Research firms whether pharmaceutically inclined or concerned with the academia, some of their personnel form general medical practitioners.
GPs also have the necessary training to employ the use of surgical operations in the repair and restoration of diseased or injured parts of the body. They can also train other health care personnel, medical students etc.
General practitioner working hours and conditions
A general practitioner in a full-time post typically works approximately 50 hours a week. Close to 11hrs of surgery a week as well as emergency work on weekends and evenings paints a picture of amount of time they spend at work. Some general practitioners also work as the chief medical officers in community set-ups. This task sometimes involves having to personally check up on patients in their respective homes. One advantage enjoyed by GPs is the ease with which they can venture into other areas such as consultancy in hospitals upon sharpening of knowledge in various medical fields such as cardiology and diabetes or into research and academia.
General practitioner opportunities
The opportunities at the disposal of most GPS are endless to say the least as already mentioned above. One reality is that a career in general practice puts one in a pole position for a long stint in a most rewarding job that is no less demanding than any other in the medical profession.
If you spot excellent communication skills with resilience under high pressure with a knack for compassionate empathy as your personal traits then a career as a general practitioner might just be your cup of tea.