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Will GP's end up like Pharmacists in a decades time?

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  • Will GP's end up like Pharmacists in a decades time?

    I don't know if anyone has noticed that on average a locum GP can earn figures around £800 per day. This sounds like a quite substantial amount compared to most jobs but it makes me wonder if GP will be able to sustain this income indefinitely?

    Most people note that the GP provides an essential service and without GP the NHS would fall apart but I wonder in the near future it might force the government to introduce higher tuition fees for medicine and only people willing to work for NHS for a fixed salary for X number of years could get reimbursed for their tuition fees. The government may also cap the earnings of locum GP so this may force them to accept the lower/stagnant income in relation to inflation. If people think back to the 90s and early 2000s pharmacies made a stupendous amount of cash as did locums, wholesalers and parallel importers but all this has gone now!

  • #2
    Ah yes!, The golden days when I had to get my wife to answer the phone and say I was at another locum. I worked when I wanted and enjoyed my semi retirement.
    johnep

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    • #3
      There can't be many jobs where the wages are less now than they were 20 to 25 years ago and the workload has increased exponentially. Training as a pharmacist seems to be a really poor investment these days.

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      • #4
        Science gas always been a poor relation to the arts. The latter were regarded as passports to lucrative careers in banking, stock broking, diplomacy, politics etc.
        johnep

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        • #5
          I actually agree with some of what you've said there about tuition fees and fixed contracts. Sounds like it could solve some of the problems.

          One of the reasons I got into pharmacy was being interested in the profession but an element of it was that I saw pharmacists doing well and having a few pharmacies and that further cemented the idea that it was a good profession to go into. Those days are no longer. In my view I don't think the same thing that has happened to pharmacists will happen to GPs - first of all they stick together. If the government starts messing around with their contracts, there's usually strike action and you'll see people flood into A+E which will cause even more problems.
          General practice is seen as an essential service whereas pharmacy is just seen as a place where you pick your tablets up from - like shopping for groceries. With it becoming more and more automated it will get worse.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by StraightOuttaDispensary View Post
            I actually agree with some of what you've said there about tuition fees and fixed contracts. Sounds like it could solve some of the problems.

            One of the reasons I got into pharmacy was being interested in the profession but an element of it was that I saw pharmacists doing well and having a few pharmacies and that further cemented the idea that it was a good profession to go into. Those days are no longer. In my view I don't think the same thing that has happened to pharmacists will happen to GPs - first of all they stick together. If the government starts messing around with their contracts, there's usually strike action and you'll see people flood into A+E which will cause even more problems.
            General practice is seen as an essential service whereas pharmacy is just seen as a place where you pick your tablets up from - like shopping for groceries. With it becoming more and more automated it will get worse.
            I think you over estimate the influence of medics all the villification and protest by medics has done little to dampen the enthusiasm of Jeremy Hunts reform proposals. Another thing one has to remember is that it cost substantially more than the £45k tution fee students are charged for the 5 year medicine course in UK. The difference is funded by the goodwill of the government if medics become too high minded on salary it wouldn't surprise me if government insists medical students to agree to providing NHS service for specific period for an agreement amount or they may be asked to pay the rates international students pay to study medicine. Another thing most medics fail to consider is that with Brexit that the government can and probably will recruit international doctors for a lower salary in the past EU medics were given preferential employment prior to international medics. This development is a decade away but given the fact that it takes 10 years to become a GP or slightly longer to be hospital doctor new doctors may face the stark reality pharmacists face now.

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            • StraightOuttaDispensary
              Editing a comment
              We're all speculating but who knows what will happen... I just think doctors are a lot more valued by the NHS than pharmacists and they're a scarce resource too.... Put the supply and demand equation into it and the doctors come out on top. Don't get me wrong I have massive respect for any healthcare profession whether it be pharmacist, nurse, doctor or anything else

          • #7
            Pharmacy is much more vulnerable to automation than medicine. That is why I always advocated a working route for THE WHOLE pharmacist body to as a matter of course convert to medicine. Whenever this is advocated the response comes back from a few pharmacists and often technicians: "why don't you train as a doctor?". That misses the point that I am advocating for the entire profession to have an automatic structure to enter medicine. Just like a legal executive can become a solicitor after five years working and completing the relevant exams. There has got to be an escape route from pharmacy to medicine or else pharmacists' skills and training are eventually going to be completely lost to the NHS.

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            • #8
              Originally posted by Gordon Mackenzie View Post
              Pharmacy is much more vulnerable to automation than medicine. That is why I always advocated a working route for THE WHOLE pharmacist body to as a matter of course convert to medicine. Whenever this is advocated the response comes back from a few pharmacists and often technicians: "why don't you train as a doctor?". That misses the point that I am advocating for the entire profession to have an automatic structure to enter medicine. Just like a legal executive can become a solicitor after five years working and completing the relevant exams. There has got to be an escape route from pharmacy to medicine or else pharmacists' skills and training are eventually going to be completely lost to the NHS.
              Laudable but not likely.
              Working on community pharmacy is not the correct care setting for conversion to medicine IMO.
              Most of the time the internet is full of daft opinions and views that you should not take seriously let bother you at all.
              Note : If this posting contains personal views or opinions every endeavour is made to ensure they stay within social media guidelines.
              If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

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              • #9
                I agree with what you've said there Gordon. I currently work in GP practice and have been in community for many years before this current post. My current practice is a dispensing practice and they function on technicians only as there's a system in place which scans medications and then they get dispensed. There's no clinical check here but because we're a dispensing practice we do have to review these patients. This process eliminates the pharmacist role... I'm not saying we don't need community pharmacists but I am saying a lot of the pharmacy can function without the pharmacist and if technicians are given those roles in the future and full automation comes along and eliminates the need for a clinical check then the pharmacist role is redundant in community.

                There needs to be something that helps pharmacist re-train and convert to a different discipline, such as medicine.

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                • #10
                  Originally posted by Gordon Mackenzie View Post
                  Pharmacy is much more vulnerable to automation than medicine. That is why I always advocated a working route for THE WHOLE pharmacist body to as a matter of course convert to medicine. Whenever this is advocated the response comes back from a few pharmacists and often technicians: "why don't you train as a doctor?". That misses the point that I am advocating for the entire profession to have an automatic structure to enter medicine. Just like a legal executive can become a solicitor after five years working and completing the relevant exams. There has got to be an escape route from pharmacy to medicine or else pharmacists' skills and training are eventually going to be completely lost to the NHS.
                  Gordon in reality medicine has a very rigorous academic criteria recruiting the most academically able students. On the other hand pharmacy depends on which university you have studied in, so universities belonging to the Russell group have a very demanding criteria whilst universities converting from polytechnic background have a more lax attitude therefore not sure how many of these individuals on the lower end of the academic scale will cope with medicine.

                  Also the idea of enabling the entire pharmacy profession to automatically enter medicine just because they have a pharmacy degree is a very unmeritocratic system. If people want to do medicine then they should compete against other candidates for the graduate course. I also do not agree that the NHS will lose skill if pharmacists go under simply because as you said we do clinical checks which in the near future computer programmes could do with greater efficency and with more accuracy.

                  If we look at Netflix as an example 20 years ago to see a specific film or drama not in cinema or on tv people had to get out of their house and go the nearest video store most likely Blockbuster to rent it out for two days for £2 approximately in 1998. Fast forward to 2018 for £7.99 per month you have access to the entire libray that Blockbuster had back in 1998. This clearly demonstrates the fact that technology can often turn anything obsolete if it has a big enough impact.

                  Clinical checks is a very lucrative side of healthcare I wouldn't be surprised if Google/Microsoft/Oracle come up with an algorhithm to do just that. When that day comes I'm not sure what pharmacists will be able to provide that the NHS will sorely miss.

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                  • #11
                    Do you mean something like 111?
                    johnep

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                    • #12
                      Originally posted by johnep View Post
                      Do you mean something like 111?
                      johnep
                      Nope I mean in the future the NHS will operate data bases with the entire medical history of each individual patients and this will allow sophisticated diagnostic programmes to determine the best course of action. If you look at iPhone X with its 3D augmented technology it wouldn't be surprised that the programmes could undertake many of the diagnostic duties of Doctors simply scanning the area or taking photos to determine the best course of action done at home.

                      One thing I would like to say is that what I am speculating on is at least one or two decade away. However given the rising aging population and the cost prohibitive nature of training doctors this will be a game changer when it happens. Will doctors be still in demand? Absolutely for the rich they will receive a more personalised care but for the rest of us we will be dependent on this form of healthcare for general practice issues.

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                      • #13
                        Originally posted by jzd4rma View Post

                        Nope I mean in the future the NHS will operate data bases with the entire medical history of each individual patients and this will allow sophisticated diagnostic programmes to determine the best course of action. If you look at iPhone X with its 3D augmented technology it wouldn't be surprised that the programmes could undertake many of the diagnostic duties of Doctors simply scanning the area or taking photos to determine the best course of action done at home.

                        One thing I would like to say is that what I am speculating on is at least one or two decade away. However given the rising aging population and the cost prohibitive nature of training doctors this will be a game changer when it happens. Will doctors be still in demand? Absolutely for the rich they will receive a more personalised care but for the rest of us we will be dependent on this form of healthcare for general practice issues.
                        So pharmacists should grow into the informatics area.
                        Most of the time the internet is full of daft opinions and views that you should not take seriously let bother you at all.
                        Note : If this posting contains personal views or opinions every endeavour is made to ensure they stay within social media guidelines.
                        If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

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                        • #14
                          Originally posted by Pharmanaut View Post

                          So pharmacists should grow into the informatics area.
                          Absolutely if they can skill themselves up although I have my reservations of the likelihood of this happening. I am fairly computer literate and I have spoken to other pharmacists who are fairly good with computers but few of us have little programming skills that such endeavour would require so not sure how community pharmacists can get on this.

                          Another thing to note is that pharmacologists and specialised hospital pharmacists are more likely to be recruited for such project rather than the humble community pharmacists simply because they have a more through knowledge in specific areas which developers need to tap on the developers can then interconnect this to creat a sophisticated clinical check programme. One should think of it like training of pharmacy school students who were taught by specialists rather than generalists.

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                          • #15
                            In terms of informatics pharmacists - there are sometimes adverts for EMIS going around for pharmacists.
                            I'm not really sure that a pharmacist who has some 'coding skills' will be able to compete with a developer with commercial experience of software.
                            That doesn't stop such people coming up with an idea and doing something themselves in a niche area though.
                            Most of the time the internet is full of daft opinions and views that you should not take seriously let bother you at all.
                            Note : If this posting contains personal views or opinions every endeavour is made to ensure they stay within social media guidelines.
                            If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

                            Comment

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