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We feel that it is worth recording the story of how vocational training for general practice was first proposed, how the earliest experiments were started, and how this prolonged exercise in teamwork developed throughout the UK. It is appropriate to do this now that Parliament has recently voted that this training should be an obligation for all doctors who wish to work as general practitioner principals in the NHS. Moreover, the first person to exert a crucial influence, Henry Cohen (Lord Cohen of Birkenhead) has recently died.
We write this account in historical sequence, not comprehensively, but selecting what in retrospect we believe to have been of chief importance. We describe initiatives at first unrelated to each other, but all contributing to one end. As the story unfolds, so does coordination in the common effort. The account ends at 1970.