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Using a Dutch success story as a point of reference, Professor Harm van Marwijk looks at the academic general practice setting in the UK, where he is now based. He reflects on key lessons to be learnt in the UK including the importance of relationship building, open conversations and personal continuity.

There seems an unusually strong disconnect between teaching, research, and practice here in the UK. GPs need to start redefining the content of their work themselves again; otherwise their jobs end up like the miners around Manchester.
- Professor Harm van Marwijk

"An image of a dead canary in a carbon monoxide filled coal mine springs to mind when I think of the crisis affecting the GP workforce and NHS. As an experienced GP, researcher, and teacher from the Netherlands, I looked forward in 2015, to start working in the strongest academic primary care environment in the world. These last 2 years, the opportunities for GP research have indeed been better than in the Netherlands, but my overall impression is that, unfortunately, general practice itself is at the brink of collapse. I am not sure how my research would add to its sustainability. In this article, I briefly describe under what conditions GPs in the Netherlands successfully countered such crumbling forces and why academic structures in the Netherlands may have been more successful in supporting GPs." 

Read the full piece on the BJGP Open website