Doctor - GP

general practitioner
Healthcare
Care

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

What's it like?

You would provide medical care for people in the local community. The patients will trust you to help them by quickly diagnosing and treating their illness.

You’d be the first point of contact for patients, seeing them either in your surgery or visiting them at home. You would need to listen to them and put them at ease.

You’d ask the person questions about their health and do physical checks if necessary. You’d make a diagnosis, explain the options for treatment to the patient and decide what action to take.

You would:

  • Give general advice
  • Prescribe medicine
  • Recommend treatment
  • carry out minor surgery
  • Refer them to a specialist consultant for tests and further diagnosis

You could also run the GP practice, either alone or in partnership with other GPs. You’d do administration like writing letters and reports, and keeping records of patient’s visits and treatments.

You might arrange support from other health professionals such as physiotherapists and nurses. You could organise clinics and health education for groups of patients such as pregnant women, smokers and people with diabetes.

You’d probably take further training to develop skills in specialist areas such as minor surgery or mental health.

You would often work in a team that includes practice nurses, health visitors, midwives, counsellors and administrative support staff.

You can see more about this role on the general practice page of the NHS careers website and see more about the salaries on the pay for general practitioners page on the British Medical Association website.

The NHSScotland Careers website has information about training as a doctor in Scotland.

Working conditions

Hours

You would work up to 50 hours a week for a full-time post. This will include some evening and weekend work. Many GP surgeries are open from 8:30am to 6:30pm. You may also be on a rota for out-of-hours emergency work. Part-time hours are often available for GPs.

Environment

You would work in a practice, where you would have your own treatment room.

Travel

You may spend some time making home visits, and if you work in a rural practice you may have to travel long distances.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

People behind the job

Meet real people who’ve done this job – hear their stories and the path they took to get there.

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Communicating with people
  • Explaining things
  • Taking the lead
  • Caring for people
  • Coping with pressure
  • Planning and organising
  • Making decisions

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

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Click here to view / add your skills

Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Qualifications

You need an honours degree in medicine (SCQF level 10) recognised by the General Medical Council (GMC) and a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT).

Entry to a medical degree (SCQF level 10) requires National 5 qualifications and at least five Highers at AAAAB or above, usually achieved at one sitting; Advanced Highers in science subjects are recommended.

Glasgow Kelvin College offers an Access to Medical Studies (SWAP) for adults who do not have the required qualifications.

The University of Highlands and Islands offer a Higher National Certificate (SCFQ level 7) Pathways to Medicine course requiring National 5 qualifications and at least one Higher.

If you have five good Highers but do not have all the science subjects, Dundee University runs a six-year course which includes a pre-medical year (SCQF level 10). 

Useful subjects

  • Maths (required by most courses)
  • Chemistry (required by most courses)
  • Biology (required by most courses)
  • Physics (required by most courses)
  • Human biology (required by some courses)
  • English
  • Care
  • Social subjects such as psychology

You will also need

Before applying to medical school you must sit the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT).

You will need to be approved for membership of the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme run by Disclosure Scotland.