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1 Being a GP

This is the core curriculum statement produced by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) which defines the learning outcomes for the specialty of general practice and describes the competences you require to practise medicine as a general practitioner in the National Health Service (NHS) of the United Kingdom.

Primarily aimed at the start of independent work as a general practitioner, it must also prepare the doctor beyond the training period and provide support for a professional life of development and change.

Introduction to the RCGP curriculum

The role of a modern GP is varied and challenging – it includes diagnosing a wide range of undifferentiated health problems, treating illness in community and home settings, responding to risk safely and effectively, managing long-term conditions and coordinating care with a range of carers, specialists, providers and other professionals.

As a GP, you must care for an increasingly complex population living with multiple health conditions and taking numerous medications, while being responsive to the changing demographics of the increasingly multi-cultural UK population and NHS workforce. You must also play a role in preventing disease and building health resilience, promoting health literacy and encouraging self-sufficiency in their local populations. As a personal and family practitioner, you must learn to apply a holistic knowledge of the patient and community when engaged in practical care planning through person-centred approaches, such as shared decision-making. In addition, you must work effectively within and between multi-disciplinary services, coordinating and leading care across organisational boundaries and using resources cost-effectively.

This RCGP Curriculum describes the attitudes, skills and expertise required to become a competent General Practitioner in the UK National Health Service. It describes the educational framework that forms the basis of GP specialty training and sets the foundation for career-long development.

How to learn general practice

The majority of your learning for general practice will occur in the workplace, both in general practice itself and in your hospital placements. A key element of professional behaviour requires you to reflect actively on your experiences ...

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How the curriculum is structured

The curriculum is organised in sections. The first section is this core curriculum statement, Being a General Practitioner. This defines the five broad Areas of Capability on which the curriculum is based.

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What is a competent and capable doctor?

Competence and capability describe different aspects of your ability to perform safely, effectively and professionally in your professional role. There are many descriptions of competence and capability in the educational literature, but for the purposes of this curriculum we are using the following definitions:

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Understanding the language of the curriculum

The core competences in this document have been written as outcomes of training – in other words, a statement describing the knowledge, skills and behaviours that should be demonstrated by a GP on completion of training. Their wording has been standardised according to the following glossary.

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How the curriculum links with assessment and revalidation

Every core competence described in the curriculum is directly linked to one or more of the MRCGP assessments. You must pass these assessments to successfully complete GP specialty training and gain a Certificate of Completion of Training in General Practice (CCT).

Each core competence is also linked to one or more domains of the General Medical Council's Good Medical Practice, which is the framework used for career-long appraisal and revalidation.

These linkages are shown in the Core capabilities and competences section below.

Core capabilities and competences

In order to demonstrate your competence as a GP you will need to acquire knowledge, skills and professional attitudes in a number of areas.

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Useful learning resources

This section provides suggestions for further reading and other resources to help you in your training, including books, journal articles and web resources.     

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References

This section lists references which have been used in the development of the curriculum.     

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