doctors videoThe first national recruitment video to encourage medical students to choose general practice as a career has been launched by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).

It is believed to be the first time that a medical royal college has used a video campaign to increase the numbers of medical graduates who are choosing general practice as a medical specialty.

In making the video, the college aims to tackle media stereotypes of general practice as less stimulating and exciting than other medical careers. It hopes to mirror the success of similar recruitment initiatives employed by other professions, such as teaching, to boost numbers entering the profession.

The RCGP estimates that at least 10,000 GPs will be needed by 2020 to meet the needs of an ageing and growing population, with an increasing number of patients needing treatment for multiple and complex illnesses.

Recent initiatives including NHS England’s Five Year Forward View and a new £1bn investment in GP premises are re-focussing the future of patient care back to the community and the demand for GP skills and expertise has never been greater.

The new RCGP video aims to raise the profile of UK general practice and features newly qualified doctors talking about their real-life experiences of being a GP, showing the huge contribution they make to the lives of their patients and the wider NHS.

It depicts the unique and varied role that GPs have in the health service – providing ‘whole person’ and continuous care for patients throughout their lifetimes.

It highlights the diverse career opportunities available to GPs and shows the intellectual stimulation, leadership, autonomy - and exciting challenges - that GPs enjoy in everyday practice. It also talks about the variety of settings in which GPs carry out their work, including cruise ships and prisons.

“We are turning the tide on funding for general practice, with pledges from politicians across the UK that it is time to reinvigorate general practice, in order to deliver high quality and cost-effective care to our patients in the community.

“The future of the NHS lies not in hospitals but in general practice. With more investment and more doctors, we can reduce waiting times for GP appointments and deliver more care for patients closer to home, where they want it most.

“I’ve been a GP for over 30 years and I still believe it is the best job in the world. I hope that after watching this video many potential GPs will feel the same.”