Background: In Heidelberg, the clinical curriculum of medical education was fundamentally changed in 2001 due to co-operation with the Harvard Medical School. The pre-clinical curriculum has also already been undergoing reform since 1995: the benefits of two new lectures with early patient contact and special tasks in the subject of family medicine were to be assessed.
Methods: In the first year, the students therefore had to assess the seminars, tutorials, and the internships in GP by means of a standardised questionnaire. In addition, reports had to be produced on teaching practice. The teachers were also questioned following agreement with and introduction of quality assurance measures.
Results: 66-89% of students assigned good marks to the internships in GP, 40-58% for the accompanying seminars, and 70% for the tutors. The results of a general external evaluation which was carried out slightly differently were not quite so good. 87-89% of teachers agreed upon the elaborated criteria for the quality of teaching practice.
Conclusions: The results show that GP-based education is already well accepted in the first year of training, and that early patient contact in primary care is highly appreciated by the students. On their part, the teaching GPs assess the quality promotion sessions as instruments towards continuous quality support in pre-clinical training as meaningful and necessary, especially with regard to licensing for teaching in General practice.