Recertifying general practitioners

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.310.6991.1348 (Published 27 May 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:1348
  1. Tessa Richards
  1. Associate editor BMJ, London WC1H 9JR

    If not now, when? If not this, what?

    In two weeks' time general practitioners from Britain's 117 local medical committees will have to make up their minds about reaccreditation—not whether it is a good idea, but whether the detailed scheme drawn up by the General Medical Services Committee fits the bill. It proposes that all general practitioners should have an educational performance review by a trained general practitioner “mentor” each year and should undergo assessment by a regional reaccreditation team every five years. This team would be accountable to a national reaccreditation council.

    Although general practitioners generally support reaccreditation1 2 and both the Royal College of General Practitioners and the regional advisers in general practice have welcomed the GMSC's initiative, the proposal has already come under fire. Criticism has focused on the substantial extra workload for tutors and regional advisers, the costs, and the timing.3 4

    These salvoes are unsurprising, but reaccreditation, or recertification (the preferred term when the process is applied to individuals rather than practices) is an issue that cannot be side stepped. It may lack the immediacy of the out of hours dispute, but the implications are more far reaching. The pace of change in medicine and the pressure on doctors from all sides to practise high quality, cost effective medicine throughout their professional careers are mounting. The demand for …

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