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UK Medical Schools Not Attracting Enough GPs, Expert Warns

Update Date: Oct 29, 2014 10:33 AM EDT

UK medical schools are not attracting enough would-be GPs, according to a senior academic expert. 

Richard Wakeford, Life Fellow at Hughes Hall in the University of Cambridge warned that the NHS needs more GPs immediately - and that without complete reorganization of student recruitment, medical schools "will continue to overproduce graduates inclined to hospital specialties and research," according to a press release. 

The report noted that at least half of UK medical graduates need to become GPs, yet UK medical schools "are not recruiting students with this career inclination in anything like sufficient numbers."

The study also pointed out that Labour has announced plans for 8,000 more general practitioners if elected while Prime Minister David Cameron has promised seven day access to a GP by 2020 if the Conservatives get in.

 "This is urgent because of the training time lag. If the NHS is to survive, we need creative recruitment such that at least one in two, not one in eight, new medical students want to become the GPs of the future," Wakeford concluded. 

The report was published in the British Medical Journal.  

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