Symposium – how can undergraduate medical education improve recruitment to family medicine?
Rationale and aim
The provision of family medicine has well documented advantages and is an international healthcare priority. However, recruitment into family medicine is problematic. Evidence suggests that the overall quantity of undergraduate experience in family medicine can positively affect recruitment (Alberti et al., 2017). However, very little is known about the quality of this experience and how it may affect recruitment.
This symposium brings together leading policy makers and researchers in the field and aims to provide an opportunity to review and develop initiatives to improve undergraduate teaching quality in family practice that may result in enhanced recruitment.
This will be achieved through:
- Sharing and evaluating curricular innovations in the UK following the Wass report (Wass et al., 2016)
- Development and implementation of national guidelines for undergraduate family practice (UGFP) teaching (Harding et al., 2018)
- Summary of discussions regarding development of international guidelines for UGFP at recent international conferences
- Progress on developing an international set of guidelines for UGFP
Initial evaluation of national and international attempts to improve undergraduate family practice teaching indicates that a major challenge is uncertainty about the identity of family practice. This issue extends to such fundamental matters as: What to call family practice? and what are its intellectual underpinnings?
Part of the discussion will therefore aim to address these questions as they are directly related to the subject matter of the conference as a whole.
The symposium will feature a brief overview from the chair, followed by 4 x 5-10 minute presentations with discussion after each presentation and finally a summary and action plan regarding next steps. The 4 presentations are as follows:
presentation 1 Sharing and evaluating curricular innovations in the UK following the Wass report (Hugh alberti – Newcastle)
SAPC are currently in the data collection stage of a survey of all medical schools regarding teaching in family practice. The lead author (Hugh Alberti) will present initial findings. These will be of particular interest following the publication of the Wass Report 3 years ago, calling for progress to be made in UGFP education in order to improve recruitment. The symposium therefore represents one of the first chances to assess progress being made following the publication of the Wass report and to plan further steps.
presentation 2 Development and implementation of national guidelines for undergraduate family practice (UGFP) teaching (Stuart Cole – Exeter)
Before systematic teaching and learning can take place, the subject matter must be delineated. Only then can conversations regarding teaching quality take place. The subject matter of UGFP has recently addressed and a set of national guidelines for teaching produced (Harding et al., 2018). Research evaluating these guidelines will be presented. Initial results indicate that there is a wide disparity nationally among senior teaching planners regarding what family practice is and therefore what a curriculum should be. Discussion will focus on delineating this disparity and exploring the reasons behind this.
presentation 3 Summary of discussions regarding development of international guidelines for UGFP at recent international conferences (Prof Val Wass - Keele – chair wonca education group)
This presentation looks at progress being made towards design of an international set of guidelines for UGFP teaching. In order to achieve international consensus, a series of discussions have taken place at international conferences gauging opinion on UGFP from around the world. A thematic analysis of these discussions will be presented with major themes identified. Again, initial evaluation indicates a wide disparity internationally in viewpoints – extending even as far as what to call family medicine.
Presentation 4 Progress on developing an international set of guidelines for UGFP (Prof Alex Harding - Exeter – co-chair UK heads of teachers)
Following on from presentation 3, this presentation summarises the work to date in developing a set of international guidelines. This includes amalgamation of literature review of work in the field, a summary of current expert opinion and discussion on the process of guideline generation.
ALBERTI, H., RANDLES, H. L., HARDING, A. & MCKINLEY, R. K. 2017. Exposure of undergraduates to authentic GP teaching and subsequent entry to GP training: a quantitative study of UK medical schools. Br J Gen Pract, bjgp17X689881.
HARDING, A., HAWTHORNE, K. & ROSENTHAL, J. 2018. Teaching General Practice; Guiding Principles for Undergraduate General Practice Curricula in UK Medical Schools, London, Royal College of General Practitioners.
WASS, V., GREGORY, S. & PETTY-SAPHON, K. 2016. By choice—not by chance: supporting medical students towards future careers in general practice. London: Health Education England and the Medical Schools Council.