General practice in the undergraduate curriculum: 20 interviews with Southampton final-year students

Med Educ. 1991 Mar;25(2):144-50. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2923.1991.tb00041.x.


The Primary Medical Care Group at the University of Southampton contributes to the medical curriculum in the first, third and final years. A visiting lecturer from Sweden took the opportunity to interview a sample of 20 final-year students using a qualitative approach. Questioning centered on the impact of the primary care course both in relationship to medicine as a whole and to general practice. It was found that primary medical care was often not seen as a central or integral part of the curriculum but many students acknowledged its important contribution to seeing the patient as a whole and in integrating the various other parts of the curriculum, with significant opportunity for role modelling and informing career choice. A hidden curriculum emerged of attitudes which provided a conflict for some students. Improvements should include clearer dovetailing of primary medical care with other curricular components, limitation of aims with more specific and rigorous assessment and a wide strategy of staff development not confined to those directly involved in general practice attachments.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Career Choice
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate*
  • England
  • Family Practice / education*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Students, Medical