[Which common general practice procedures can postgraduate trainees proficiently perform at the end of their medical studies? - a cross-sectional survey]

Z Evid Fortbild Qual Gesundhwes. 2016 Oct:115-116:85-92. doi: 10.1016/j.zefq.2016.07.002. Epub 2016 Sep 2.
[Article in German]


Background: Medical education is intended to enable students to become a physician who can practise the profession of medicine on his own authority, responsibility and accountability. In 2015, the competencies required to accomplish this have been described in the National Competency-based Catalogue of Learning Objectives Medicine. The aim of this study was to survey the extent to which the respective medical procedures were learned during medical school. Postgraduate trainees were asked to self-assess their level of proficiency in carrying out procedures commonly performed in family medicine.

Methods: A questionnaire involving 17 procedures was distributed among 328 postgraduate trainees in family medicine attending training sessions in Baden-Wuerttemberg. Participants could assess the extent to which they were able to independently perform each procedure (ranging from "not able to do it", "able to do it under direct supervision", "able to do it if supervision is provided upon request" to "able to do it on my own", and "able to provide supervision to others" respectively). Respondents that were able to perform procedures without the need for supervision were asked to indicate when they acquired the competency. Data were analysed descriptively.

Results: A total of 196 postgraduate trainees (59.8%) completed the questionnaire. The average age was 35 years, 71 % of the participants were female. For five out of 17 procedures at least half of the participants regarded themselves as being "able to do it on my own" or "able to provide supervision to others". The procedure that was most often (52.5 %) named as having been learned in medical school was "otoscopy", followed by "wound suturing" and "mask ventilation" (42%).

Conclusions: Following graduation, GP trainees are unable to independently perform the majority of common procedures in family medicine. This indicates that insufficient proficiency in procedural skills is provided in undergraduate medical education, revealing the need for structured, supervised specialty training following graduation.

Keywords: Allgemeinmedizin; Weiterbildung; clinical skills; competency-based education; general practice; klinische Fertigkeiten; kompetenzbasierte Ausbildung; medical education; medical procedures; medizinische Ausbildung; medizinische Prozeduren; postgraduate training.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Educational Measurement
  • Family Practice
  • Female
  • General Practice*
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Surveys and Questionnaires