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Increasing the general level of academic capacity in general practice: introducing mandatory research training for general practitioner trainees through a participatory research process

Background To obtain good quality evidence based clinical work there needs to be a culture of critical appraisal, and strong bridges between the clinical and the academic worlds in general practice. Aim The aim was to educate the general practitioner (GP) trainees to obtain critical appraisal skills, and through the development and implementation of the mandatory programme to gradually empower the GP community to achieve academic capacity by creating a link between the GP researchers and the GP training community. This was done by developing a faculty, giving teaching skills to GP academics, and research skills to GP clinicians; and creating an awareness of the potential benefits of critical appraisal in training GP surgeries. MethodsDevelopment and implementation of a faculty and a programme through a participatory action research-inspired project, with process evaluation from the beginning of the planning phase. ResultsFrom 2006 to 2009, we built a teaching faculty of 25 teachers among clinical GPs and GP academics; developed the training programme; and delivered the programme to 95GP trainees. Some of the GP trainees later showed an interest in more substantial research projects, and GP trainers with no previous association with the research environment started to show an interest through their function as GP trainers. The GP academics of the faculty, however, felt that it was difficult to continue the engagement because of the still increasing demand for published knowledge production in academia. ConclusionIt is possible to support the development of general academic capacity in general practice using participatory design in collaboration with GP academics and clinicians, building bridges between academia and clinical work, as well as within academia between research publication and teaching. There is, however, a generic barrier in the regulation of academia itself.


Charlotte Tulinius, Anni Brit Sternhagen Nielsen, Lars J Hansen, Rikke Dalsted, Christian Hermann, Lioudmila Vlasova

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