How Can GPs And Specialists Best Learn From Each Other?

February 06, 1998

(Qualitative study of educational interaction between general practitioners and specialists)

In a General Practice paper in this week's BMJ, Marshall finds that there is a mismatch between the education GPs wanted from specialists and what specialists are actually providing. He found that GPs wanted to learn information that is directly applicable to their clinical work and to use referrals as a two-way learning process (they would like feedback about the quality and appropriateness of their referrals). However, the author found that GPs are not sufficiently explicit about their learning requirements and so specialists tended to concentrate their teaching activities on new developments in their subject. Also, specialists could benefit from learning different ways of teaching.

Marshall concludes that both participants are willing to learn from each other and that education should be a two way process, since this would help to promote mutual understanding of different roles and functions within the medical profession.


Martin Marshall, Lecturer, Institute of General Practice, Postgraduate Medical School, University of Exeter, Exeter


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