Championing and cultivating the Pragmatic Wisdom and Clinical Scholarship at the heart of modern General Practice

Royal College of General Practitioners

Because EXCELLENT General Practice needs not only gold standard evidence, but also  GOLD STANDARD WISDOM so as to deliver the highest standards of person-centred healthcare.

Wise GP Update August 2023


Wise GP website

Three things you need to know about the WISE GP programme

  • OUR GOAL: is to support excellent person-centred primary healthcare through supporting and inspiring GPs, clinicians and patients 

  • WHAT WE'RE DOING: producing a set of resources to champion & cultivate Clinical Scholarship within General Practice. Which includes: a Shining a Light resource pack (helping us all to champion scholarship), the Skills Academy (helping us all to cultivate the skills of scholarship), and support for Collective Wisdom (mentoring of individuals and building Communities of Action)

  • HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED: by contacting Joanne Reeve, GP Scholarship lead. You can also follow us on Twitter for regular updates - @TheWiseGP1

Why do we need the Wise GP programme?

  • To help GPs work in a different way: feeling confident to tailor care to the complex needs of modern patients; and able to lead practice teams and communities in redesigning healthcare for 21st century needs
  • To excite people about a career in General Practice: in recognising the intellectual stimulation of the role, and build sustainable career paths including portfolio careers
  • To support a re-imagination of the medical generalist role that is core to the work of the GP: the distinct intellectual task of the medical generalist in using clinical scholarship to generate robust knowledge-in-practice-in-context

And so deliver sustained and sustainble person-centred primary care.


What are SAPC and RCGP doing to champion GP scholarship?

Our work complements and builds on the foundations of General Practice professional training and practice described within RCGP curricula, Health Education England, the Clinical Research Networks, the combined UK medical schools (including SAPC) and others. Which recognises that every GP must be skilled and confident in the professional generation and use of ‘knowledge-in-practice-in-context'.

However both our research and consultation with current GPs, trainers, trainees and students has revealed key gaps which need to be filled to promote a vision and practice of The Wise GP. We need:

  • A NEW STORY of General Practice: to Shine a Light on the intellectual excitement and challenge of general practice – Championing the Clinical Scholarship of generalist practice and the pragmatic wisdom of working professionals 

We are developing resources to shine a light on: PEOPLE (working GPs using schoalrship in their daily practice) and PRACTICE (the evidence/knowledge being produced by GP and primary care scholarship. We will be launching GEMs (General practice Evidence for Modern practice)

  • Supporting NEW SKILLS for General Practice: developing a new Skills Academy to cultivate the skills of, and confidence in, extended professional practice.

Resources in development include: new training programmes, signposting to existing training programmes, Departmental Ambassadors to help you link with your local academic group, and an Advisors List of topic specific experts

  • Supporting  General Practice TEAMS – building Communities of Action and networks of support for scholarly activity

Resources in development: Profiling existing networks – learning from what was gone before; Supporting new networks – mentorship for new networks


Find out more...

Please contact Joanne Reeve if you have comments, queries or suggestions for this work

There's a great introduction to our work described in this blog by Domhnall MacAuley, Associate Editor of the Candian Medical Association Journal, by watching this short video pubished by CMAJ. And some more details on the background in the section below.


Who is involved developing and delivering the GP Scholarship Programme?

The Society for Academic Primary Care Exec (lead: Joanne Reeve) in partnership with the Royal College of GPs (leads: Martin Marshall, Ali Marsh, Pritesh Mistry - Innovation Research Board).

UK groups involved with and supporting this work: SAPC Heads of Teaching, SAPC Heads of Departments, group NIHR CRN Primary Care (Phil Evans). SAPC has provided £5k sponsorship for this work.

We have discussed the work with UK and international partners including: the Dept of Family Medicine at the University of Toronto, MacMaster University, WONCA Asia Pacific 2019 conference, the Royal College of Vet Surgeons, and the NAPCRG Special Interest Group on Advancing Generalist Expertise

With thanks also to all the individuals involved with and supporting this work to date:  Kevin Anderson, Umesh Chauhan, Adam Firth, Kamilla Hawthorn, Ben Jackson, Sabena Jameel,  Sara McKelvieJonathan Mills ,  Faraz Mughal, Ebrahim Mulla, Emma ParryJo Protheroe, Imran Rafi, Joe Rosenthal, Helen Stokes-Lampard, Val Wass, Sam Meriel, Polly Duncan..

The Building Blocks

The GP Scholarship work builds on earlier SAPC work including Jane Roberts work on supporting GPs with Exended Roles, and Greg Irving's work on supporting Academic Clinical Fellows.

Collective professional wisdom is an integral part of Academic Primary Care: the distinct body of work and knowledge that defines, develops and delivers the person-centred model/system of healthcare that is primary care. We need strong Academic Primary Care, now more than ever, if we are to achieve the effective, efficient, equitable health care that the best models of primary care can deliver. The strength of our discipline comes from bringing together Primary Care clinicians, including GPs, and Primary Health Care Scientists in a shared goal of championing excellence in primary care scholarship driving improvements in primary care provision.