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General Practitioner » Learn More

General practitioners are highly trained medical professionals. They enjoy helping people with their health issues and talking to many people one-on-one throughout the day. They need to be in good health and able to communicate well with others.

 

General practitioners may do some or all of the following

  • consult with and examine patients
  • treat individuals and families over an extended period
  • diagnose patients' problems
  • carry out or arrange for special tests
  • advise on health care and prevention of illness
  • perform minor surgery
  • prescribe and administer medicines
  • keep medical records
  • visit patients at their homes
  • co-ordinate patient care with nursing and support staff
  • refer patients to other health services when necessary
  • fill out medical certificates for patients
  • liaise with ACC (Accident Compensation Corporation) over accident and injury claims
  • train and supervise doctors working towards their GP exams
  • advise and help patients claim for welfare benefits
  • keep up to date with medical knowledge
  • help carry out government campaigns to increase good health, using immunisation and education.

General practitioners need to have

  • communication and people skills to relate well to patients and colleagues
  • knowledge of anatomy and how the human body works
  • knowledge of different diseases and illnesses
  • knowledge of medicines and treatments and the effect these have on patients
  • knowledge of how to access community support for their patients
  • an awareness and understanding of other cultures and their attitudes to medical treatment
  • up-to-date knowledge of new research, treatments and practices
  • knowledge of medical ethics and law
  • diagnostic skills
  • analytical and interpreting skills
  • decision-making and problem-solving skills
  • organisational and time management skills
  • report writing skills.

General practitioners need to be

  • patient
  • understanding and concerned for others
  • able to work well under pressure
  • able to remain calm in emergencies.

General practitioners need knowledge of

  • other cultures and their attitudes to medical treatment
  • new research, treatments and practices
  • medical ethics and law
  • anatomy and how the human body works
  • different diseases and illnesses
  • medicines and treatments and the effect these have on patients