GP apprenticeships will start in September 2023

Photo by Klaus Nielsen on

Adapted from BMJ 30 July 2022

The idea of GP apprentices has been discussed for a few years now, but at last the scheme is starting up in September 2023.

The new scheme hopes to solve a lot of problems with one fell swoop.

There is a great shortage of doctors in the UK and particularly in General Practice, the foundation of the NHS system. At the same time, the expense of becoming a doctor, with student debt on qualification reaching £100,000, is making it a difficult choice for students who don’t have wealthy parents.

Universities have limited places for medical students. Although a few new medical schools have opened their doors such as Buckingham University, which is entirely privately funded, this has been insufficient to maintain GP numbers which continue to fall.

For several years conversion courses for graduates from other disciplines have been running at for instance Dundee University. This results in qualified doctors after a four- year course.

Courses for physician assistants have also been taking in graduates from careers allied to medicine in for instance Aberdeen University. Yet, there are simply not enough physicians and physician assistants to fill gaps in provision, as many of our UK readers will have noticed, whether they are seeking a GP or a hospital appointment.

What is different about GP apprenticeships is that the student will earn a wage from their very first day. I don’t know what that wage will be yet. Hopefully enough to make the experience worthwhile and at least prevent them ending up in debt.

The aim is to make medicine more accessible to students from state schools and poorer backgrounds. They want to see students from diverse backgrounds rather than just the white upper middle- class students from private schools who currently predominate.

Apprentices will complete both academic and practical education and come out with a medical degree and licence to practice from the General Medical Council.

9 thoughts on “GP apprenticeships will start in September 2023”

  1. It’s a great idea. Will the GP apprentices also get rotations into emergency departments and general medicine wards plus a little obstetrics and gynaecology and paediatrics. Not to become a hospitalist but to get awareness?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Gary, I don’t know the course details, the pay, or how they are going to recruit. I just wish they had started this fifteen years ago because that is when the doctor shortage really started.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Meanwhile in Australia, GP remuneration remains contentious. There are many who are asking for a salary or something similar as opposed to the current fee for service arrangements. The debate has been going on for decades. When my Dad started as a GP he charged $2.50 for a standard consultation.


  2. Hey do you know the guy in that picture? He looks like my cousin We (ahh I mean his parole officer) has been trying to find him for about five years. If you see him tell him office Bob is looking for him. I wish that officer Bob would stop calling me

    Liked by 1 person

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