The General Medical Council has warned that a shortfall of doctors in primary care is putting patients’ ability to access GP services at risk and has called on the system “to act now to make the most of a changing medical workforce.” In its annual workforce report for the UK, published this week,1 the regulator said that staffing levels were critically low in numerous specialties but that primary care was facing a particular problem.How has the medical workforce changed?The report said that from 2020 to 2021 the number of licensed doctors in the UK grew by more than 11 000, from 272 255 to 283 663. This growth has been increasingly driven by international medical graduates joining the workforce, who in 2021 outnumbered UK graduate joiners. Of the doctors who entered the workforce in 2021 half (50%) were international graduates and 39% were UK graduates.The GP workforce has had the…

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