GP Specialty Trainees (GPSTs) as Teachers – a cross-institutional analysis

Talk Code: 
Liza Kirtchuk, Kerry Boardman
Dr Liza Kirtchuk, Dr Kerry Boardman, Dr Joe Rosenthal, Dr Melvyn Jones
Author institutions: 
GKT School of Medical Education, King’s College London and University College London Medical School


The General Medical Council and Royal College of General Practitioners expect doctors, including trainees, to develop teaching skills and roles (1-3). An intended shift in delivery of undergraduate medical education towards the community requires additional teaching capacity at a time when financial constraints and clinical demands are limiting the ability to offer this (4). A similar challenge in Australian General Practice in the past decade led to the use and evaluation of GP trainees as teachers (5-7), but there is relatively little UK evidence about the amount of undergraduate medical student teaching that GP Specialty Trainees (GPSTs) deliver, the quality of that education, or the perspectives of relevant stakeholders (8).

1. Good Medical Practice. GMC, 2006.

2. Tomorrow's Doctors.GMC, 2009.

3. RCGP Curriculum Statement 3.7

4. Harding A, Rosenthal J, Al-Seaidy M, Gray DP, McKinley RK. BJGP.2015;65(635)

5. Anderson K, Thomson J. Aust. Fam. Physician. 2009;38(11):907-10.

6. Dick M-L, King DB, Mitchell GK, Kelly GD, Buckley JF, Garside SJ. Med J Aust. 2007;187(2):133-5.

7. Dodd J, Vickery A, van Osch H, Emery J. Aust. Fam. Physician. 2009;38(1/2):77-80.

8. Rushforth B, Kirby J, Pearson D. Educ Prim Care. 2010;21(4):221-9.


In 2012-13, GPSTs took part in a pilot project to teach undergraduate medical students in the community at the GKT School of Medical Education, King’s College London. Since then GPSTs have continued to deliver such teaching.

Since 2014-15, GP training schemes in North and East London have offered a six month rotating Innovative Training Post (ITP) for trainees in their first (ST1) or second (ST2) year of GP training, delivering undergraduate community teaching for University College London Medical School.

In both institutions students submit electronic evaluation data for each placement in the form of Likert scale ratings and free text comments. We have performed analysis of comparative data for both the GPSTs and more experienced GP tutors, using statistical and thematic analysis.

We will carry out focus groups and semi-structured interviews with GPST tutors, students taught by GPSTs, and other stakeholders in GP education, to explore perspectives and experiences around GPSTs as teachers. These will be transcribed and thematically analysed using grounded theory.


Preliminary findings suggest that students evaluate teaching from GPSTs as highly as for qualified GP tutors.

We are in the early stages of conducting the interviews and focus groups.


We will present our analysis to date and discuss its implications for supporting the role of GPSTs as undergraduate community tutors. Early results suggest that GPST tutors receive student evaluation that is comparable to qualified tutors.

The cross institutional nature of our research will allow us to consider the generalisability of our findings and explore inter-institutional differences.

Submitted by: 
Liza Kirtchuk
Funding acknowledgement: 
Funding for the UCL arm of this study has been provided by Health Education North Central and East London as part of a wider consultation process.