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Imperial GP Specialty Training Scheme

The Imperial GP Speciality Training Programme offers training and education for GP specialist trainees in many new areas such as public health, commissioning, primary care research and teaching, leadership and management. The unique training scheme, which is run jointly by the Department of Primary Care & Public Health and the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, is a three year programme consisting of two sections. The trainees spend 18 months based in general practice focusing on developing consultation skills, managing a range of primary care medical problems and completing the Clinical Skills Assessment and Work Based Programme component of the nMRCGP; and 18 months based in hospital specialties (e.g. Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Medicine, Psychiatry). As part of the educational release programme, run by programme directors Dr Martin Block and Dr Samia Hasan, GP trainees meet for half a day on a weekly basis in this department.

Currently into the second term of the programme, the first intake of twelve ST1 trainees joined the department in August 2012 and the second intake will be joining in August 2013. The hospital posts have been designed with the specific focus on the educational needs of general practice trainees, to enable the transfer of knowledge and skills that are relevant to the field of general practice.

As Dr Block notes, “We are proud to say that this is the first GP training scheme to be based within an academic department of General Practice. The programme provides a unique opportunity to deepen the relationship between undergraduate and postgraduate General Practice training, and gives trainees an insight into academic General Practice”. The Imperial programme supports the development of the next generation of General Practitioners, who are highly educated and trained, with the motivation to be leaders in the field of general practice and healthcare. These GPs will have the confidence, knowledge and skills to build on the best of traditional UK general practice and be responsive to national objectives, the local context in which GPs work, and the changing needs and expectations of patients.

Members of the department such as Dr Graham Easton and the academic ST4s have provided valuable contributions to the programme with Wednesday afternoon teaching sessions, alongside other speakers from the university and the trust. Dr James Stratford-Martin and Dr Sarvesh Saini, senior teaching fellows in the department, are both set to become GP trainers on the scheme. The team is completed by Ms Mona Khatib, who provides administrative support to the programme.

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