Paddy Glackin spent two years as a GP principal in north London before deciding he wanted 'to get a life'. Now he works for two London out-of- hours co-operatives and often takes time off to travel abroad.

'I found that increasingly, general practice involved enormous amounts of paperwork, trips to local prescribing groups, preparation for moving to fundholding and so on. I thought that was not why I wanted to become a GP,' says 29-year-old Dr Glackin.

'Now I come in, see patients and go home. I work fewer hours than I used to and if I want to pop off for six weeks' holiday I can.

'If I was to come back, I would consider working as a single-handed GP. I don't think that partnership works very well for me - I don't think I'm very good at compromise.

'I found the prospect of disappearing down the tunnel of general practice for 30 years disturbing. Now I have got a life - which I did not have as a GP.'