Training for GPs should be extended to five years, as long as the focus is on the GP curriculum, the British Medical Association (BMA) says.
It added the plans will also only be practical if the training is relevant to a doctor’s future career in general practice.
The BMA made the call as it responded to Sir John Tookes’ interim report on the UK-wide Modernising Medical Careers reforms.
It is also calling for early exposure to opportunities for medical academic careers, and a single body to regulate undergraduate and postgraduate medical education.
But it says this will only be of value if it has an appropriate medical representation, and does not penalise doctors financially.
A BMA spokesman said that the report, which was commissioned to look into the doctor training system, also suggests that a new grade of doctor be created.
These will have a specialist qualification, but not the same expertise, as a consultant.
Ram Moorthy, chairman of the BMA’s Junior Doctors Committee, said: “It makes no sense to spend public money to train doctors, and then deny them the opportunity to reach their full potential.
“This grade would dumb down quality and further frustrate junior doctors’ aspirations to excellence.”
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