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General Practitioners, more commonly referred to as GPs, work in surgeries and practices across the UK and are frequently the first healthcare professionals that patients will go to in the case of illness or injury.
As with all medical professionals, their primary responsibility is to identify, diagnose and treat problems experienced by patients through a variety of examinations, tests, medical procedures and prescription of medication. It is also their job to ensure that the patient is fully aware of courses of treatment and procedures available to them so that they can play a role in, direct and have some control over the care they receive.
After initial examination and diagnosis, a GP might refer the patient to a specialist in a hospital or clinic.
GPs teach and advise people on the best ways to proactively maintain good levels of health in many related areas, including diet, exercise and sexual health.
Part of the job might entail frequent travel to visit patients who cannot go to a practice to see a GP, and some GPs will work on-call, responding to calls from patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
As the title would suggest, general practitioners will be trained in numerous aspects of healthcare and, as such, will often have varied responsibilities, from performing minor surgical procedures through to healthcare administration.
They will also be expected to attend lectures and seminars, amongst other duties, in order to further professional development.