Academic General Practice in the UK Medical Schools, 1948-2000: A Short History

Academic General Practice in the UK Medical Schools, 1948-2000: A Short History

Academic General Practice in the UK Medical Schools, 1948-2000: A Short History

Academic General Practice in the UK Medical Schools, 1948-2000: A Short History

Synopsis

The first collective record of the evolution of general medical practice as an academic discipline over half a century. This anthology captures the stories of the early struggles to set up university departments between visionary supporters and traditionalist blockers as well as the steadilyincreasing successes aided by a dedicated funding system. The accounts are written where possible by the people involved in the early developments of their subject. These tales are of vision, commitment and resilience and are interesting both in their own right and for the more general lessons theytell us about the processes of creating institutional change within a modern democracy.

Excerpt

Imagine a country whose medical schools do not systematically teach students within the clinical discipline that most of them would work in. Imagine such a country also failing to conduct research into the clinical and organisational problems faced by patients and the doctors working in that discipline. Although it seems unthinkable now, the uk was such a country when the nhs began. This book describes and analyses how the pioneers of academic general practice in the uk and the Republic of Ireland overcame the challenges and obstacles to achieving their vision of ensuring that all undergraduates in every medical school experience excellent education in a research-rich environment.

The editors have compiled chapters from departments across the country, telling the highly variable story about how each made progress within their own context. Support from postgraduate departments, the rcgp, departments of public health and parts of the nhs all played their part. the appendices describe the new medical schools; the crucial SIFT/ACT developments; an integrating perspective; and the transition from autgp to audgp to sapc. For many readers the main interest will lie in the story of their own institution but others will see common themes and insights that will help them understand how support for progress can be marshalled within and across organisations to overcome today’s challenges.

The main part of the story told here ends in 2000. However the subsequent decade has confirmed the solidity of the foundations laid by the earlier pioneers. No one in the uk now questions the need for academic general practice to be a major part of the undergraduate medical curriculum, and primary care is seen as one of the country’s key research strengths. General practitioners no longer work only in departments of general practice but have joined, and lead, a wide range of other academic groups. the next generation are also reaching out to other . . .

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