There is a workforce crisis in NHS general practice (GP). It is estimated that to meet future healthcare needs around 50% of current medical students will need to choose a career in GP. Positive role modelling is an influential factor in medical students' career choice, but denigration of primary care during medical training may undermine the aspirations of students considering GP as a career. This article discusses the importance of medical schools detecting and managing denigration of GP in their curricula and, for the first time, suggests an objective approach to the measurement of denigration. Four facets which constitute denigration are discussed and proposed as a collective measure. These are: language used about GP, proportion of curriculum time spent by students in GP, accurate representation of the clinical content of GP and equity of funding between hospital and GP placements. Furthermore, we discuss the key ethical and legal challenges that are faced by medical schools and, indeed, healthcare settings, that need to be overcome to enable proactive measurement and management of denigration.
Keywords: Denigration; general practice; medical education.
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