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General practice 

General practice
Chapter:
General practice
DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199681907.003.0015
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date: 23 October 2019

General practice makes up the primary healthcare sector and is the first port of call for every patient who needs medical advice to a referral to a hospital specialist. There is a vast array of presentations and every general practice surgery has a varying case mix ranging from physical to psychological ailments. General practitioners (GPs) are versatile, approachable, empathic and are familiar with yellow and red flags to justify a referral to hospital. GPs make home visits and run numerous specialist clinics to cater for an entire community. Nowadays, GPs are known to be more versatile than ever before as many tend to specialize (cardiology, dermatology, etc.) while others pursue a portfolio career consisting of commercial duties (e.g. event or ship doctors), academic research, and medical education. GPs are effective communicators and need to be able to build a rapport with patients from all walks of life regardless of age, sex, ethnicity, and faith. This chapter highlights the content and spread of general practice within the community. There is also discussion on career developments as a GP, how to make the most of your GP placement, and how to prepare for GP assessments, including communication models and triggers for patients to seek help from their GP.

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