Preparatory graduate professional training in general practice by using the 'experiential learning' framework

Asia Pac Fam Med. 2018 May 29;17:4. doi: 10.1186/s12930-018-0042-1. eCollection 2018.


Background: General practitioners (GPs) in Indonesia are medical doctors without formal graduate professional training. Only recently, graduate general practice (GP) is being introduced to Indonesia. Therefore, it is important to provide a framework to prepare a residency training in general practice part of which is to equip GP graduate doctors to deliver person-centered, comprehensive care in general practice. Experiential learning theory is often used to design workplace-based learning in medical education. The aim of this study was to evaluate a graduate professional training program in general practice based on the 'experiential learning' framework.

Methods: This was a pre-posttest study. The participants were 159 GPs who have been practicing for a minimum of 5 years, without formal graduate professional training, from two urban cities of Indonesia (Yogyakarta and Jakarta). A 40-week curriculum called the 'weekly clinical updates on primary care medicine' (WCU) was designed, where GPs met with clinical consultants weekly in a class. The participant's knowledge was assessed with pre-posttests involving 100 written clinical cases in line with each topic in the curriculum. Learning continued with a series of group discussions to gain reflection to reinforce learning.

Results: Participants' knowledge regarding clinical problems in general practice was moderately increased (p < 0.05) after the training from a mean score of 50.64-72.77 (Yogyakarta's doctors) and 39.37-51.81 (Jakarta's doctors). Participants were able to reflect on the principles of general practice patient-care. Participants reported satisfaction during the course, and expressed a desire for a formal residency training.

Conclusions: A graduate educational framework for GP based on the 'experiential learning' framework in this study could be used to prepare a graduate GP training; it is effective at increasing the comprehension of general practitioners towards better primary care practice.

Keywords: Experiential learning; General practice/family medicine education and training; Person-centered care.