Training doctors in general practices: a review of the literature

Aust J Rural Health. 2006 Oct;14(5):173-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1584.2006.00803.x.


Objective: This study was undertaken to assess the evidence of whether new forms of medical training, where substantial training takes place in general practice, will be acceptable to GPs. In particular, we asked the questions: Are GPs willing to act as trainers and supervisors in their practices? Do GPs have the appropriate skills to be trainers? Do practices have the infrastructure and resources to support placements? And, are patients happy to be seen by medical students and General Practice Registrars?

Design: Key Australian and international databases, key Australian journals and key Australian websites were searched for literature on general practice-based training of medical students and General Practice Registrars.

Results: In the international and Australian literature, we found that many GPs consider training medical students and General Practice Registrars to be intrinsically satisfying. They vary in their skills, and most medical schools have made significant investments in training and support activities. Many practices do not have the necessary infrastructure, and investments need to be made if extended placements are to be successful. Many patients are happy to be seen by students and Registrars, but careful thought needs to be given to implementing appropriate models so that students have good learning opportunities, patients are not disadvantaged and general practices can operate efficiently.

Conclusion: The success of this new model of clinical placements is dependent on medical schools having a detailed understanding of the needs and expectations of GPs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Clinical Competence
  • Competency-Based Education / organization & administration*
  • Education, Medical / organization & administration*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / education*
  • Family Practice / education*
  • Humans
  • Medical Staff, Hospital / education
  • Models, Educational
  • National Health Programs / organization & administration