My GP Taster Week

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What is a Taster Week?

A taster week is designed to increase your exposure to any specialty. This can help you in the decision-making process when choosing your specialty training.


Are Taster Weeks Limited to GP Training?

No, they are not. A taster week can be arranged for other specialties as well.


Arranging a Taster Week

  • Discuss this with your supervisor.
  • Ask your supervisor if they can help you in arranging this.
  • Contact relevant specialists yourself in-person or via email about a possible taster week.
  • Post on Facebook groups to check if anyone can help you in finding a taster week.
  • Get a study/annual leave approved for this period.


My GP Taster Week Arrangement

I discussed my interest in GP training with my supervisor. She was kind enough to arrange a meeting for me with the Clinical Lead of the department. The Clinical Lead was kind enough to contact a GP partner. The GP partner was happy to accept me for a taster week.


My GP Taster Week

This is what I saw during my five-day GP taster week.


1. Booked Appointments

Patients who had booked appointments were seen in the clinic by the GP or by the nurse, depending who the appointment was booked with.


2. Phone Consultations

Quite often, GPs had to speak to patients over the phone. This can be for the following reasons:

  • To discuss test results
  • To check up on the patient’s well-being
  • To return the patient’s call from earlier in the day

Some of these patients can be advised over the phone, some need to be brought in and some might be advised to go to the A&E.


3. Duty Doctor

Patients who did not have pre-booked appointments, but wished to be seen by the GP urgently, were seen by the duty doctor.


4. Home Visits

Patients who can not visit the surgery were seen on home visits. There are two types of home visits:

  • At personal residential homes
  • At nursing homes

Home visits included paperwork, virtual reviews, history taking, physical examinations, blood sampling and medication prescribing.


5. Crematory Visits

To go through crematory forms filled by other doctors.


Working Hours

The following workings hours are only for GPs working full time. A few GPs were working part-time or locum; they did not have the same routine.


A Typical Week for a GP

  • 4 days a week.
  • 10 hours per day.
  • 40 hours per week.
(A typical week might vary a lot. I have only shared what I saw)


A Typical Day for a GP

  • From 08:30 to 18:30.
  • The day was divided into two halves; before lunch and after lunch.
  • Morning clinic began at 08:30 or 09:00 and finished anywhere between 12:00 and 13:00.
  • Afternoon clinics began at 15:00 and finished between 17:30 and 18:30.
  • A lot of the clinic time was taken up by the paperwork.
(A typical day might vary a lot. I have only shared what I saw)



I noticed that each GP was in charge of their own day; apart from a few limitations, they were free to design their day however they wished to.


Useful Links


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is GP Specialty Training?

GP Specialty Training or GP ST is a three-year training programme for becoming a General Practitioner in the UK. It includes 18 months of training at the hospital and 18 months of training at an approved GP practice. You can read more about it here.

2. What is the process of applying for GP ST?

You can read a very helpful article about this on the Emedica website here or you can read about it on the official GP ST website here.

3. What is it like to work as a GP in the UK?

You can read about Dr. Fozia Chaudhary’s experience of working as a GP in the UK by clicking here.

4. What is meant by a portfolio GP?

Any GP who has multiple jobs or performs multiple types of work is a portfolio GP. You can read more about it here in an article written by Dr. Mahibur Rahman.

5. What is meant by GPs with Extended Roles (GPwER) or GPs with Special Interests (GPwSI)?

GPs with Extended Roles or GPwER are GPs with additional experience and training in specific clinical areas. They can take referrals from other doctors and assess or treat patients within their specialist interest.

An appointment with GPwER might be arranged in less time compared to arranging an appointment with a specialist at the hospital. GPwER can also be closer to home for the patients.

The term GPwER includes those previously referred to as GPs with Special Interests or GPwSI. You can read more about GPwER here.

6. What is the difference between a GP partner and a salaried GP?

A GP partner is a part of the business and shares the profits or losses in the business. A salaried GP is not involved in the business and is employed by the practice as a salaried individual.

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