Medical schools are required to train the workforce needed to care for the population they serve. In the UK, we are expected to produce more graduates choosing to be general practitioners and to equip all graduates with the ability to care for an ageing population with increasingly complex care needs. These doctors need to be effective members of multi-professional teams, possessing generalist skills including an understanding of uncertainty and risk. Curricula where a significant proportion of clinical learning is based in general practice are best placed to address this pedagogic need. The authors evaluate the sociocultural factors which impede the expansion of undergraduate medical education in general practice. These include historic cultural divides between secondary and primary care, medical school leadership, funding, contractual arrangements and capacity in general practice to deliver increasing education of medical students alongside other established and emerging health professions. The piece concludes with two recommendations: undergraduate student teaching should be incorporated into contract negotiations and there must be urgent UK-wide investment in appropriate placement tariff for students. Furthemore, there is an imperative to pilot and evaluate novel collaborative approaches to the education of undergraduate medical and other health professions students.
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health