Imperial College London

Emeritus ProfessorGeorgeFreeman

Faculty of MedicineSchool of Public Health

Emeritus Professor of General Practice



+44 (0)1189 841 401g.freeman




Reynolds BuildingCharing Cross Campus





Emeritus Professor of General Practice

I had never intended to be a GP until steered by a talented Neurosurgeon MRCP trainer at Southampton. This led to 22 years in the new department of Primary Medical Care learning about being a GP, teaching and research (thesis on Continuity of Care in GP) and also about Life and the health of academic departments. Was also secretary of the Association of University Departments of GP for six years. Interested in Family life, travelling, steam trains and classical organs.

After appointment as  foundation professor of GP at Charing Cross and Westminster in 1993 I was heavily involved in developing the new Imperial Faculty of Medicine undergraduate curriculum, specifically in expanding general practice clinical experience from c2% to c12% of the whole with its associated course development and teacher training needs. 

Initial research in the introduction of primary care units in A&E departments led me back to a major interest in the patient-doctor relationship, in particular in Continuity of Care, the quality of GP consultations, the concepts of partnership and trust and in multicultural issues. This led to a stream of studies funded by the SDO Division of NHS R&D and helped me develop an international reputation in continuity of care.

I had fruitful collaboration with groups led by Per Hjortdahl (Oslo), John Howie (Edinburgh), Ian Robinson (Brunel), Richard Baker (Leicester) and Ewen Ferlie Royal Holloway). 

Since retiring from full time academic work in 2004 I have continued in continuity of care research as well as working as a part-time GP until 2010 and as visiting professor of GP at St George's (2005-9). I am currently collaborating with Jeannie Haggerty (McGill), Richard Baker & Carolyn Tarrant (Leicester), Mary Boulton (Oxford Brookes) and Joanne Reeve (Liverpool). In June 2010 I completed a review of Continuity of Care for the King's Fund 'Inquiry into the Quality of General Practice in England (my valued co-worker was Jane Hughes). This was followed by co-authorship with my wife Alison Hill on the RCGP's Policy Paper on Continuity of Care. Autumn 2013 should see the publication of the RCGP's 'Continuity Toolkit' which I have led.

Most recently I have developed a linked interest in medical generalism. Having conducted a commissioned scoping review for the Health Foundation in 2010, I was invited to join the RCGP's Comission on Generalism in 2011. Subsequently I have been working with Joanne Reeve and international colleagues to promote the understanding of generalism and ways of researching it to demonstrate value. Since 2011 we have been running an ongoing special interest group at NAPCRG. In 2013 I gave the introductory keynote lecture on Medical Generalism 'Why Generalists should be Experts' to the RNZCGP ASM in Wellington.


Generalism in Medicine: has it a future?

medicine, health, public health, healthcare, PCPH



Freeman G, Baker R, Levene L, et al., 2023, Does shortage of general practitioners matter? Life expectancy in English general practices, British Journal of General Practice, ISSN:0960-1643

Howie JG, Freeman GK, 2022, Parity at last: a new funding model for undergraduate primary care education in England, British Journal of General Practice, Vol:72, ISSN:0960-1643, Pages:317-317

Baker R, Freeman GK, Haggerty JL, et al., 2020, Primary medical care continuity and patient mortality: a systematic review, British Journal of General Practice, Vol:70, ISSN:0960-1643, Pages:e600-e611

Freeman GK, 2017, Books: The dispensaries: Healthcare for the poor before the NHS: Britain's forgotten health-care system. Dispensaries: an alternative to General Practice?, British Journal of General Practice, Vol:67, ISSN:0960-1643, Pages:81-81

Freeman GK, 2016, Commentary on 'Continuity of care (CoC) in general practice vocational training: prevalence, associations and implications for training', Education for Primary Care, Vol:27, ISSN:1473-9879, Pages:37-38

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