Work opportunities for GPs

by Samar Bhutoria

There are many different work opportunities available to GPs. You can work in a variety of settings, with range of organisations, and in the UK or abroad. Some of these roles are detailed below

Location: UK
Published: Wednesday 5 June 2024
Samar Bhutoria

1)  Appraisal – Being a GP appraiser can be rewarding as it leads to the professional development of other GP colleagues

2)  Charity – Charities provide medical work in the UK and abroad

3)  Commissioning services – This involves working within the integrated care board to plan the delivery of NHS services and allocation of resources

4)  Defence medical services – Working for the Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force and the Ministry of Defence (as a civilian medical practitioner) can provide opportunities in the UK and overseas

5)  Education – Being a GP trainer or educational supervisor for medical students, junior doctors and GP trainees can be a satisfying role. Teaching medical students in the universities or assessment of GP trainees and junior doctors with the Royal College of GPs or GMC are both options

6)  Emergency services – Many emergency departments and ambulance services recruit GPs to help with their work

7)  Extended Role (GPwER or GPwSI) – GPs who have a special interest in specialties such as dermatology or minor surgery can use these skills in primary or secondary care settings

8)  Health policy – Joining the RCGP or National Institute for Health and Care Excellence as clinical adviser, the BMA or local medical committees can help GPs develop their leadership skills and play an important role in shaping health policies

9)  Locum/bank GP – Many newly qualified GPs begin their GP career with locum work to gain experience of working in different GP surgeries. This allows for flexible working with the option to move into a salaried or partner role.

10)  Media – GPs may work with television and radio channels to communicate important public health messages.

11)  Medical examiner – These roles help to scrutinise the deaths which are not investigated by a coroner and ensure accuracy of the medical certificate of cause of death.

12)  Medico-legal – GPs can work as expert witnesses and/or provide written reports in court cases involving medical negligence. Professional medical indemnity providers may also recruit GPs for their expertise

13)  Out of hours GP – Working during the evenings or weekends with less administrative work can be worthwhile

14)  Partner GP – This involves running the practice and managing business and staff responsibilities with the other partners.

15) Police – GPs can manage the medical needs of those taken into police custody.

16)  Prison – This involves looking after the prison inmates' physical, mental and social health including substance misuse issues.

17)  Private – Private GP services can be provided through sole entrepreneurship or partnerships. You can also get involved with corporate employee or private health assessments and checks

18)  Remote or digital – Remote working has increased with the COVID-19 pandemic. GPs can manage patients using telephone or video calls

19)  Research – Opportunities for involvement in research in primary care settings or with organisations such as the National Institute for Health and Care Research are available

20)  Salaried GP – This ensures regular work and income in a GP surgery with benefits such as annual leave and sick leave

Some of these roles may benefit from gaining additional qualifications and therefore researching these further would be useful.


Samar Bhutoria is a sessional GP and a member of the sessional GPs committee