GMC publish research from Newcastle University to help it build our understanding of the breadth of doctors’ practice. On its website, the GMC wrote:

“We are keen to build our understanding of the breadth of doctors’ practice. This is important for our regulatory role and the role we play in supporting workforce planning.”

What were the key findings?

An expert medical panel identified 10 high-level features that they believed could describe and distinguish the breadth of doctors practice’ from that of other doctors. These were:

  • assessment of patients
  • undertaking either diagnostic or therapeutic procedures which require specialised training
  • prescribing or initiating courses of drugs for specialised use
  • direct educational delivery
  • active involvement in the conduct of research
  • formal leadership or management roles related to clinical work
  • senior leadership role
  • other management or leadership role or responsibility distinct from clinical work
  • a role with an international, national, regional or local organisation
  • providing medical opinion for legal or judicial purposes, for example as a member of a tribunal, an expert witness, or in safeguarding or other medico-legal context.

The research then piloted the 10 features with a small sample of doctors. Respondents agreed with the 10 features and made minor suggestions on how to refine them. They also recorded how their own practice aligned with the features.


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