The growing number of female GPs is lovely but causing problems – we contribute to a shortage of GPs of around 550 a year. We women are more likely to work part time and have career breaks.
There is a move to make general practice a more attractive option for medical students and the Migratory Advisory Committee has called for a review of pay or working hours.
There are currently more female than male GPs practising in England and Wales. If GP shortages continue, then the Migratory Advisory Committee have recommended recruiting more GPs from other European countries. They have rejected a request to allow more recruitment from outside the EU though. Dr Maureen Baker, chairwomen of the RCGP, is disappointed with this decision.
So although there have been an increase of 1,000 GPs over the past 5 years, it is still exceedingly difficult to recruit GPs in some areas of the UK. It has been estimated that to combat this problem, around 5,000 more GPs will need to be trained and half of all medical students will need to become GPs by 2020.
I only work one day a week in general practice and do not have much desire to work more days – however, I do worry that people like me are making this problem so much worse!