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1.  Developing a curriculum statement based on clinical practice: genetics in primary care 
Advances in medical genetics are increasingly being incorporated into clinical management outside specialist genetic services. This study was therefore undertaken to develop learning outcomes in genetics for general practice specialty training, using methods to ensure the knowledge, skills, and attitudes relevant to genetics in primary care were identified.
To identify key knowledge, skills, and attitudes in genetics and to synthesise these into learning outcomes to assist training in genetics for primary care.
Design of study
Delphi survey and review by expert group.
Primary care practices and Regional Genetics Centre in the West Midlands region of the UK.
A modified Delphi survey involved GP trainers, programme directors, and geneticists (n = 60). The results, along with results from a survey of GP registrars, were reviewed by an expert group, which included GPs, geneticists, and educationalists.
Core genetics topics for GPs were identified, prioritised, and developed into competency statements in the style of the curriculum structure of the Royal College of General Practitioners.
The development of the GP curriculum statement Genetics in Primary Care was based on a study of educational needs, incorporating the views of practitioners (GP trainers, programme directors, and registrars) and specialists (clinical geneticists). This inclusive approach has enabled the identification of learning outcomes which directly reflect clinical practice.
PMCID: PMC2629823  PMID: 19192373
curriculum; family practice; genetics
2.  Mediated, moderated and direct effects of country of residence, age, and gender on the cognitive and social determinants of adolescent smoking in Spain and the UK: a cross-sectional study 
BMC Public Health  2009;9:173.
European trans-national adolescent smoking prevention interventions based on social influences approaches have had limited success. The attitudes-social influences-efficacy (ASE) model is a social cognition model that states smoking behaviour is determined by smoking intention which, in turn, is predicted by seven ASE determinants; disadvantages, advantages, social acceptance, social norms, modelling, perceived pressure, self-efficacy. Distal factors such as country of residence, age and gender are external to the model. The ASE model is, thus, closely related to the Theory of Planned Behaviour. This study assessed the utility of the ASE model using cross-sectional data from Spanish and UK adolescents.
In 1997, questionnaires were simultaneously administered to Spanish (n = 3716) and UK adolescents (n = 3715) who were considered at high risk of smoking. Participants' age, gender, smoking intentions and ASE determinant scores were identified and linear regression analysis was used to examine the mediated, moderated and direct effects of country of residence, age and gender on participants' smoking intentions.
All UK participants were aged 12 or 13 and most Spanish participants were aged between 12 and 14 (range 12–16 years). Amongst 12 and 13 year olds, regular smoking was more common in Spain. Almost half the participants were female (47.2% in Spain; 49.9% in the UK). Gender did not vary significantly according to age.
The distribution of ASE determinant scores varied by country and predicted intention. The influence of each ASE determinant on intention was moderated by country. Country had a large direct influence on intention (1.72 points on a 7 point scale) but the effects of age and gender were mediated by the ASE determinants.
The findings suggest resisting peer pressure interventions could potentially influence smoking amongst UK adolescents but not Spanish adolescents. Interventions that promote self-efficacy, on the other hand, would possibly have a greater influence on smoking amongst Spanish adolescents.
The ASE model may not capture important cultural factors related to adolescent smoking and the relative contribution of particular ASE determinants to adolescent smoking intentions may differ between countries. Future European trans-national adolescent smoking prevention programmes may benefit from greater undestanding of country-level cultural norms.
PMCID: PMC2700103  PMID: 19497119
3.  Admissions processes for five year medical courses at English schools: review 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2006;332(7548):1005-1009.
Objective To describe the current methods used by English medical schools to identify prospective medical students for admission to the five year degree course.
Design Review study including documentary analysis and interviews with admissions tutors.
Setting All schools (n = 22) participating in the national expansion of medical schools programme in England.
Results Though there is some commonality across schools with regard to the criteria used to select future students (academic ability coupled with a “well rounded” personality demonstrated by motivation for medicine, extracurricular interests, and experience of team working and leadership skills) the processes used vary substantially. Some schools do not interview; some shortlist for interview only on predicted academic performance while those that shortlist on a wider range of non-academic criteria use various techniques and tools to do so. Some schools use information presented in the candidate's personal statement and referee's report while others ignore this because of concerns over bias. A few schools seek additional information from supplementary questionnaires filled in by the candidates. Once students are shortlisted, interviews vary in terms of length, panel composition, structure, content, and scoring methods.
Conclusion The stated criteria for admission to medical school show commonality. Universities differ greatly, however, in how they apply these criteria and in the methods used to select students. Different approaches to admissions should be developed and tested.
PMCID: PMC1450044  PMID: 16543300

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