Symbiotic relationships through longitudinal integrated clerkships in general practice

BMC Med Educ. 2022 Jan 26;22(1):64. doi: 10.1186/s12909-022-03119-x.


Background: Longitudinal integrated clerkships (LICs) are an innovation in medical education that are often successfully implemented in general practice contexts. The aim of this study was to explore the experiences and perspectives of general practitioner (GP)-tutors on the impact of LICs on their practices, patients and the wider community.

Methods: GPs affiliated with the University of Limerick School of Medicine- LIC were invited to participate in in-depth interviews. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in person and over the phone and were based on a topic guide. The guide and approach to analysis were informed by symbiosis in medical education as a conceptual lens. Data were recorded, transcribed and analysed using an inductive thematic approach.

Results: Twenty-two GPs participated. Two main themes were identified from interviews: 'roles and relationships' and 'patient-centred physicians'. Five subthemes were identified which were: 'GP-role model', 'community of learning', and 'mentorship', 'student doctors' and 'serving the community'.

Conclusion: LICs have the potential to develop more patient-centred future doctors, who have a greater understanding of how medicine is practised in the community. The LIC model appears to have a positive impact on all stakeholders but their success hinges on having adequate support for GPs and resourcing for the practices.

Keywords: Doctor-patient relationship; General practice; Longitudinal integrated clerkships; Primary care.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Clerkship*
  • Education, Medical*
  • Family Practice
  • General Practice* / education
  • General Practitioners*
  • Humans
  • Students, Medical*
  • Symbiosis