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Background

All doctors should register with a GP.

  • Self-care is important for all doctors
  • Self-treatment is not compatible with good self-care
  • Accessing GP care in a timely manner supports good health outcomes
  • The GP Directory makes registration as a patient easier, considering the rotational nature of training for doctors.

The Medical Council recommends that doctors have their own GP:

"You have an ethical responsibility to look after your own health and well-being. You should not treat or prescribe for yourself. You should have your own general practitioner, who is not a member of your family, and you should be vaccinated against common communicable diseases" 

Medical Council President welcomes new interns facing 'challenging year', Wednesday 27 May 2020. 

Medical Council Guidelines on Ethics and Professionalism , Eighth Edition, 2019 (please see page 38).

The transient, high-pressure working environment faced by non-consultant doctors and those in training, may contribute to difficulties related to accessing and availing of the services of a designated GP in Ireland.

Dr Rita Doyle, GP and President of the Medical Council, is acutely aware of the challenges currently facing our current NCHDs, and those who have recently commenced their internship posts, and strongly supports the creation of this Directory of GPs for NCHDs, trainees and interns, similar to that available to GPs under the ICGP's Doctors' Health in Practice Programme:

"Make sure you have a GP. As a doctor you have an ethical duty to care for yourself. A sick doctor is a patient. And cannot be of benefit to their own patients."

The National GP Directory, compiled by the ICGP, lists GPs who have indicated that they have capacity to register NCHDs, trainees and interns seeking a GP within their locality during their clinical rotations. 

The creation of this Directory is the outcome of a project originally initiated by Dr Mary Randles in 2018, a hospital-based specialist registrar, while she was an NDTP Lead NCHD. Dr Randles recognised the difficulties that NCHDs face in accessing GPs, due to their frequent hospital placement rotations, often in various geographical areas. Dr Máirtín Ó Maoláin, a GP, who was a GP registrar and NDTP Lead NCHD at the time, collaborated with Dr Randles to develop the idea. Inspired by the goodwill of GPs towards their junior colleagues, as expressed on numerous social media platforms at the time, Dr O' Maolain engaged Dr Rita Doyle, the ICGP through Dr Andrée Rochfort and the NDTP through Dr Carol Norton on this issue which led to the development and roll-out of this initiative.

While there is little data on the topic in the Irish context, a systematic review of international literature has reported that between 20% and 100% of doctors are registered with a GP, and that between 25% and 100% have engaged in self-treatment.

Role of the ICGP

In May 2020 the ICGP invited College members to indicate their interest in being listed in the Directory and over 300 GPs responded to the initial request. The Directory will be updated periodically and as time progresses it is hoped to have as wide a geographical spread as possible.

What if there is no GP near my hospital according to the directory?

The directory is not a definitive list of GPs who can offer their services to hospital and community-based trainees,non-consultant doctors and interns. GP practices not listed here may be in a position to register you as a patient in their practice.

If the directory does not list a GP in your current location, please also search for GP practices in your locality here. Contact the practice and request to register.

What other services are available to support doctors' health?

Practitioner Health Matters Programme is a confidential service offered to doctors, dentists and pharmacists experiencing mental health issues, such as: stress, burnout, depression, anxiety, alcohol or substance misuse. Click here for further information and contact details.