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Br J Gen Pract. 2007 March 1; 57(536): 243.
PMCID: PMC2042571

Vocational training to be spent in general practice with GPs

Francesco Carelli, GP Professor

Roger Tisi1 writes that funding had not been obtained in vocational training to support 18 months of practice-based training, and that he was asked to redesign his scheme to include 2 years in hospital posts.

This is a serious and pitiable situation with some similarities to that in Italy, where 18 months in practice-based training has not been scheduled yet, as it is difficult enough to find funds for 12 month periods.

The situation is wrong from a professional development point of view, and in contrast with the European indications themselves.

This situation indicates, in the UK as well as in Italy, a political dilemma: how high is the credibility and consideration for general practice?

In no other speciality are periods of training shifted or mainly based in other sectors: it would be nonsense. A GP will not specialise by spending more time in an opthalmology department, just as opthalmologists would not specialise by spending more time in orthopaedic departments.

Roger Tisi is facing a ‘frankly bewildering proposal that doctors specialising in general practice will receive the vast majority of their education and training delivered by colleagues in other specialities’. This is a ‘frankly bewildering’ and in contrast with the European Directives, WONCA European Definition and the EURACT Educational Agenda, where a clear specialist status and a clearly detailed curriculum for teaching in general practice is described. No other specialists would be able to teach the specificities of general practice.

However, I would argue that other specialists should be obliged to spend time in practices to learn something about general practice's specificities and keep them in mind during their professional life.


1. Tisi R. Appropriate postgraduate training. Br J Gen Pract. 2006;56(533):969–970. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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