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Original research
Learning needs, preferred learning methods and learning challenges of first five general practitioners in NHS Scotland: a qualitative study
  1. David E Cunningham,
  2. Caroline Ward,
  3. John Kyle,
  4. Lynsey Yeoman
  1. Medicine Directorate, NHS Education for Scotland, Glasgow, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr David E Cunningham; david.cunningham{at}nhs.scot

Abstract

Objectives To identify the learning needs and preferred learning methods of First5 general practitioners (GPs) in National Health Service (NHS) Scotland.

Design Qualitative research study using grounded theory methods. First5 GPs were interviewed in small focus groups or individual interviews in-person, or over the telephone depending on their preference.

Setting General practice in NHS Scotland.

Participants GPs, within the first 5 years of completion of GP training, who were working in NHS Scotland.

Results Thirty-eight First5s were recruited to the study. Participants recognised that gaps in their GP training became apparent in independent practice. Some of this related to NHS appraisal and revalidation, and with the business of general practice. They were interested in learning from an older generation of GPs but perceived that preferred learning methods differed. First5 GPs were less reliant on reading journals to change their practice, preferring to find learning resources that allowed them to gain new knowledge quickly and easily. There were considerations about resilience and of the challenges of learning in remote and rural areas of NHS Scotland. This related to travel costs and time, and to accessibility of learning courses. Participants appreciated collective learning and commented about the logistics and costs of learning.

Conclusions Preferred learning methods and learning resources differ with First5 GPs compared with those who have been in practice for some years. Learning providers need to recognise this and take these differences into account when planning and preparing learning in the future.

  • medical education & training
  • primary care
  • organisation of health services

Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request. Data include transcripts of audiorecordings of interviews and regarded as being confidential. Participants did not consent to this data being shared.

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Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request. Data include transcripts of audiorecordings of interviews and regarded as being confidential. Participants did not consent to this data being shared.

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Footnotes

  • Contributors DC conceived the study, recruited the research team and searched the existing literature. DC, CW, JK and LY collected the data and analysed it. DC, CW, JK and LY contributed towards the results and discussion sections of the manuscript. DC wrote the introduction and methods sections. DC, CW, JK and LY edited the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests DC works for NHS Education for Scotland (NES) and LY and CW were medical education fellows for NES.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.