Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

The consultant's role in continuing medical education of general practitioners: the case of rheumatology.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987; 294 doi: (Published 10 January 1987) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987;294:100
  1. E M Badley,
  2. J Lee


    Consultant rheumatologists were surveyed by questionnaire about their contribution to the continuing education of general practitioners, and 84% (203/243) replied. Altogether 157 respondents had participated in some form of teaching, 147 in collective teaching sessions such as lectures and 99 in the teaching of small groups. Arthritis comprised 44% of the rheumatological topics taught; there was a noticeable lack of teaching on problems commonly encountered in general practice, such as soft tissue rheumatism and injury and back pain, and on clinical skills including examination and injection of joints. Eighty eight respondents made comments and suggestions. The favoured educational strategies were small group teaching, apprenticeship schemes, and interchange between general practitioners and consultants about shared cases. This contrasts with what was typically done--namely, formal lectures on rheumatoid arthritis in postgraduate medical centres. These findings raise questions about the continuing education of consultants themselves as well as about the consultants' role in teaching others.