Hospital Dr News

New approach needed to stop general practice being seen as the poor relation

Medical schools have got to change their approach to encourage more students to choose a career in general practice, says a new report.

The report, commissioned by the Health Education England and the Medical Schools Council, says long held negative views about general practice have to be tackled.

Change is key to making sure we have the GP workforce required to meet service and patient demands for the future, it says.

By Choice – not by Chance calls for greater awareness of general practice among school children and medical students alike

Students interviewed for the report said they have experienced ‘professional tribalism’ with primary care being perceived of lower status.

Other recommendations include:

  • An urgent review of the current funding systems, processes and guidance for distributing money for undergraduate teaching to ensure equity and quality of learning for students to mirror modern and future health care delivery.
  • Improving access to the quality of work experience in general practice for prospective medical students, in line with work experience opportunities more readily available in secondary care.
  • The GMC to work with all medical schools to revise their undergraduate curricula to ensure they develop to reflect the patient journey through different healthcare settings.
  • Greater collaboration to raise the academic profile and future vision of general practice and tackle the tensions which surround general practice.

Professor Wendy Reid, Director of Education and Quality, Health Education England, said: “There needs to be a system-wide approach to changing long held views about general practice being a poor relation to working in a hospital and working with partners to improve the image of general practice through promoting the role not only in medical schools but in primary and secondary schools.

“We need to properly value the role GPs play at the heart of the NHS and the impact they have on the service.”

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