Why GPs should teach

by Simon ThorntonSimon Thornton
GP Engagement Lead
Centre for Academic Primary Care

Encourage more GP practices to teach medical students‘.

Sounds simple doesn’t it? That was the brief for me starting as GP Engagement Lead in September 2016. Teaching is something I’m passionate about and is one of the highlights of my week in practice. It’s always a good day at work when I’ve had students with me and I love to share my enthusiasm for teaching with other GPs.

However, encouraging GPs to take on new work, as exciting and rewarding as it is, is difficult at a time of unprecedented workload and pressure in general practice. Enter ‘Step up and Teach’ – a campaign we’re running to highlight the benefits to practices of teaching medical students. The question we want practices to ask themselves is ‘can we afford not to teach?’.

Reasons to teach

We already know that practices involved in teaching find it easier to recruit GPs. A recent survey of final year GP trainees in the Severn Deanery showed that 75% of them are more likely to take a job that offers regular teaching as part of the job role than one that doesn’t. It’s also an opportunity to inspire the next generation of GPs. I have fond memories of being a medical student at the practice I now work at.

We’re also looking at new ways of working with our practices, such as providing guaranteed student numbers for practices year-on-year to enable better financial and workforce planning.

Following the recent undergraduate medical curriculum review at the University of Bristol, the amount of teaching delivered in primary care will increase from 10 percent currently to around 30 percent. We can’t deliver this without the ongoing support of our 150 plus teaching practices, and hopefully many new ones. This really is a fantastic opportunity for general practice in the region.

If you would like to get involved, please contact us at phc-teaching@bristol.ac.uk, visit our website http://www.bristol.ac.uk/primaryhealthcare/teachingtutors/ or follow us on Twitter @capcteaching.


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