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Does focused and dedicated teaching improve the confidence of GP trainees to diagnose and manage common acute ENT pathologies in primary care?

Authors Acharya V, Haywood M, Kokkinos N, Raithatha A, Francis S, Sharma R

Received 28 October 2017

Accepted for publication 12 February 2018

Published 9 May 2018 Volume 2018:9 Pages 335—343


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Md Anwarul Majumder

Vikas Acharya,1 Matthew Haywood,1 Naomi Kokkinos,2 Anisha Raithatha,3 Sinthuja Francis,1 Rishi Sharma4

1Department of ENT Surgery, Luton and Dunstable Hospital, Luton, UK; 2Department of General Medicine, Luton and Dunstable Hospital, Luton, UK; 3Watford Rotation, East of England Deanery, Watford, UK; 4Department of ENT Surgery, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, UK

Background: General practitioners (GPs) are key members of the health care profession who are required to have a considerable breadth of knowledge to manage and treat patients effectively in the community. Their skills and experience varies depending on the medical school they attended and their foundation training and specialist GP training schemes. Exposure to ear, nose, and throat (ENT)-specific pathology is often insufficient due to the lack of formal otolaryngology rotations, minimal relevant teaching opportunities, and inconsistencies in curricula, despite ENT-related pathology presentations being one of the commonest consultations in primary care.
Methods: We undertook a learning needs assessment among Watford general practice vocational training scheme trainees to assess whether they lacked confidence in managing typical ENT pathology, as well as to ascertain whether they felt a formal and focused ENT teaching session would be beneficial to them.
Results: The results suggested they were interested in such a session, and therefore we organized a formal program on the assessment and management of acute and common ENT pathologies with a postteaching questionnaire to evaluate participant confidence in these domains. The results showed an improvement in participant knowledge and confidence regarding the assessment and management of ENT pathologies following the teaching session intervention. In addition, most attendees were overall very satisfied with the session.
Conclusion: This study highlights the need for teaching specifically tailored to the learning needs of general practice vocational training scheme trainees, particularly in niche specialties, in order to prepare them adequately for clinical practice in the community setting.

Keywords: medical education, ENT surgery, GP training, training competence, primary care, GP education

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