Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

General practitioners' continuing medical education within and outside their practice.

British Medical Journal 1989; 299 doi: (Published 22 July 1989) Cite this as: British Medical Journal 1989;299:238
  1. P. A. Owen,
  2. L. A. Allery,
  3. K. G. Harding,
  4. T. M. Hayes
  1. Department of General Practice, University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff.


To study continuing medical education 96 out of 101 general practitioners chosen at random from the list held by a family practitioner committee were interviewed. The results provided little evidence of regular attendance at local postgraduate centre meetings, though practice based educational meetings were common. Thirty one of the general practitioners worked in practices that held one or more practice based educational meetings each month at which the doctors provided the main educational content. Performance review was undertaken in the practices of 51 of the general practitioners, and 80 of the doctors recognised its value. The general practitioners considered that the most valuable educational activities occurred within the practice, the most valued being contact with partners. They asked for increased contact with hospital doctors. The development of general practitioners' continuing medical education should be based on the content of the individual general practitioner's day to day work and entail contact with his or her professional colleagues.