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CAPC co-authored paper wins RCGP Paper of the Year award in the Medical Education category

14 October 2021

Professor Trevor Thompson, Head of Primary Care Teaching at the Centre for Academic Primary (CAPC) Care, Bristol Medical School, is co-author of the winning paper in the Royal College of General Practitioners’ 2020 Paper of the Year Medical Education category.

The paper, ‘Revealing the reality of undergraduate GP teaching in UK medical curricula: a cross-sectional questionnaire study’ was led by Dr Emily Cottrell at Newcastle University Medical School and published in the British Journal of General Practice in September 2020.

The study aimed to describe the current state of UK undergraduate GP teaching, including the amount of time and resources allocated to GP teaching.

The authors found that undergraduate GP teaching has plateaued since 2000 and falls short of national recommendations.

Professor Thompson said: “Chronic underinvestment in GP teaching persists at a time when teaching is expected to increase. Both aspects need to be addressed to facilitate high-quality undergraduate GP teaching and promotion of the expert medical generalist role. This award will help give this issue the recognition it deserves.”

The RCGP Research Paper of the Year gives recognition to an individual or group of researchers who have undertaken and published an exceptional piece of research relating to general practice or primary care. The three categories are Clinical Research, Health Services Research (including Implementation and Public Health) and Medical Education with relevance to primary care. Papers are scored on the criteria of originality, impact, contribution to the reputation of general practice, scientific approach and presentation.

The review panel said: “The stark conclusion of this study, that undergraduate teaching provision in general practice has plateaued since 2000 and falls short of national recommendations, should be a warning to us all. The authors make important recommendations about the need for an adequate primary care teaching tariff and state that without sufficient funding, medical schools are unlikely to influence GP recruitment problems positively or be able to promote generalism for all future doctors.

“Cottrell’s paper reminds us that education and preparation for general practice begins as students enter medical school, and needs to be funded to ensure high-quality undergraduate GP teaching is delivered and the expert medical generalist role is promoted. Only then can we ensure that we can encourage the next generation of doctors to enter general practice.”

Related news

The overall winner of this year’s RCGP Research Paper of the Year, ‘Improving the healthcare response to domestic violence and abuse in UK primary care: interrupted time series evaluation of a system-level training and support programme’ published in BMC Medicine in March 2020, was co-authored by CAPC’s Professor Gene Feder and Dr Natalia Lewis.

Further information

About the Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol
The Centre for Academic Primary Care (CAPC) at the University of Bristol is a leading centre for primary care research in the UK, one of nine forming the NIHR School for Primary Care Research. It sits within Bristol Medical School, an internationally recognised centre of excellence for population health research and teaching. Follow us on Twitter: @capcbristol.

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