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Introduction to week 4

Introduction video for week 4
So far, in week 1 we introduced you to the ideas and skills of knowledge work for whole person generalist practice. Then in weeks 2 and 3 we considered how you can use these skills to work differently with your patients to generate knowledge-in-practice-in-context to support individualised patient care. This week we want to look at how this approach can help us think differently about our wider professional roles, our working week and our future career planning. We will look at the knowledge work opportunities across your extended GP role to benefit patients but also your career and the wider primary care community. When we start out in our GP career,
we are often presented with two options: being a partner (running a practice business), or working as a salaried or locum GP. Other roles can ‘bolt on’ to these for example teaching, special interest roles or local area clinical leads. But, we are often still asked ‘how many sessions’ do you do (meaning how many patient-facing sessions). There is often little focus on what other roles we do as part of our everyday professional practice. WISDOM recognises GPs are consultants in primary care medicine. We use extended knowledge work skills in complex decision making to manage complex patient care.
These skills also underpin our potential to lead other complex areas of work involved in running practice and improving healthcare such as innovation, quality improvement, research and education – the portfolio of roles and opportunities that would be expected of any clinical consultant role, and likely written into their job plans. This matters because research tells us that incorporating a portfolio of interests stimulates you intellectually, increases job satisfaction and flexibility, and results in a higher likelihood of retention within your role. Diversification of professional interests is likely to be key in preventing burnout of clinicians struggling with the weight of daily practice.
As well as providing a necessary and invaluable resource to the wider healthcare system driving and developing high quality healthcare Despite these numerous benefits, GPs may feel there are barriers to embarking on portfolio careers, including, a lack of skills or confidence; a lack of time to prioritise their own professional development interests; a perceived lack of permission to pursue a different path, or, a lack of structure to provide feedback and reinforcement of their alternate path of practice. By extending and expanding our knowledge work skills as ‘clinician scholars’ in our daily clinical practice, we also start to develop our confidence, experience and expertise in a wider portfolio of professional practice.
This can help shape the career we want to have, and ensure the service has the diversity of skills it needs. This week we will suggest ways you could use the 4 pillars of knowledge work to expand your portfolio of skills and ultimately create an action plan for your career as a future generalist doctor.

Dr James Bennet gives you an introduction to what we will cover in Week 4 of the course.

Please share any thoughts about what you expect from this week’s content in the Comments as usual


  1. A Griffin. Designer doctors: professional identity and a portfolio career as a general practice educator. Education for Primary Care. 2008. DOI:
  2. F Patiraja. The rise and rise of the portfolio career. BMJ. 2011. 342.
  3. S Slavin. Preventing physician burnout: satisfaction or something more? Isr J Health Policy Res. 2019. 27:8(1). 34. DOI: 10.1186/s13584-019-0303-y
  4. Marchand C. Peckham S. Addressing the crisis of GP recruitment and retention: a systematic review. 2017. BGJP. 67. (657) e227- e237. DOI: 10.3399/bjgp17X689929
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WISDOM - Tomorrow’s Doctor, Today: Supporting Today’s Expert Generalist GP

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