Five-year GP training to be re-examined

Five-year GP training to be re-examined

15 February 2010

A MORE convincing argument needs to be made about the need for five-year GP training.

The Royal College of General Practitioners has been asked by the programme board of Medical Education England to make a stronger case to justify recommendations to extend training by two years. The board is an independent advisory public body that advises the Department of Health.

RCGP president Dr Steve Field said a key area of concern is ensuring GPs have sufficient training in paediatrics which is not widely available.

He said: “The letter in response to the document from the programme board was positive, but the board has asked us to provide more information on the extra two years training. We will be working closely with the BMA, GP directors, and postgraduate deans on this. This work is part of a longer journey.”

The move to five year training follows recommendations from John Tooke in his report Modernising Medical Careers. Professor Tooke said that the current three year training period should be extended by an additional two years, which trainees should spend as a GP specialist registrar. He argued this would bring the UK in line with other European countries.

The RCGP believes the extra two years’ training would allow trainee doctors to develop confidence as independent practitioners and understand wider health issues such as practice based commissioning.

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