|Home | About | Journals | Submit | Contact Us | Français|
BACKGROUND: The role of the general practitioner (GP) has changed significantly over the past decade. This problem is compounded by growing concern over postgraduate attrition rates from medicine, with current estimates as high as 19%. AIM: To define a comprehensive model of the competencies required for the job role of GP. METHOD: Three independent studies were conducted to define GP competencies including (1) critical incidents focus groups with GPs, (2) behavioural coding of GP-patient consultations, and (3) critical incidents interviews with patients. Study 1 was conducted with GPs (n = 35) from the Trent region. Study 2 involved observation of GP-patient consultations (n = 33 consultations), and Study 3 was conducted with patients (n = 21), all from a Midlands-based medical practice. RESULTS: The data collected from the three studies provided strong evidence for a competency model comprising 11 categories with a summary of the associated behavioural descriptions. Example competencies included empathy and sensitivity, communication skills, clinical knowledge and expertise, conceptual thinking, and coping with pressure. CONCLUSIONS: Triangulation of results was achieved from three independent studies. The competencies derived imply that a greater account of personal attributes needs to be considered in recruitment and training, rather than focusing on academic and clinical competency alone. The model could be employed for future research in design of selection techniques for the role of GP.