What is a General Practitioner (GP)?

What is a GP and Why Should I have One?

A GP is a fully trained doctor who is also a specialist in their own right. They are primarily trained in preventative and public health but also diagnosis and treatment in family medicine from birth to old age and death. Their primary aim is to keep you well.

Whilst it is absolutely OK to see a different doctor whenever you go to a medical centre, we believe it is more beneficial for you to find a GP who you feel comfortable with and build a relationship with that doctor and see that doctor each time. This way you will benefit more from seeing your GP.

Reasons you may see your GP might include:

- For a general check-up

- to find out what sort of preventative health or health screening you should be doing for each stage of life

- for vaccinations including travel vaccinations

- for a skin check

- for a blood pressure check

- for a blood test

- to discuss your sleep

- to discuss your mood

- to discuss any health concerns, you may have.

Your GP is qualified to take care of your health throughout your entire life cycle and thus is in a perfect position to care for your whole family.

A GP is also particularly important if you have a chronic medical condition as they will co-ordinate your care between various medical specialities and will bring together your management plan with you at the centre of it.

In Australia, it is the GP who refers the patient to the specialist and without the GP referral there is no Medicare rebate.

GP’s can also provide certain legal services such as certification of documents and provision of motor driving reports and work cover reports.

What should I look for in my GP?

- Check that you feel comfortable to talk freely with your GP, that you trust them and they understand you. The relationship will not be successful unless you find the GP that is right for you.

- Check that they are vocationally trained by the RACGP or are registered in a recognised training program and are a GP registrar

- Check that they are working in an accredited practice so that they are held accountable to Australian working standards

- At the Leichhardt General Practice, we use, AGPAL and have recently passed the AGPAL 5th edition accreditation standards.


1. Australian Medical Association

2. Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

3. Australian General Practice Accreditation Limited