GP review: GP Curriculum Centre

Three GPs review the new online resource centre

Dr Prashini Naidoo, a GP trainer in Oxford
"I loved this resource. The compilers have taken a great deal of time to isolate relevant articles from various healthcare publications and arrange them under the GP curriculum headings.

The first page of the GP Curriculum centre lists the curriculum statements as chapter headings, a contents list. There is a hyperlink below each statement, so for example, a click on section 10.1 takes you to articles on women's health. A very helpful box appears on the left side of the screen summarising the breath of articles you will find from ‘symptoms' to ‘prevention'. If you scroll down the page, you get to see the titles of all the articles contained within ‘women's health'. Clicking on a title, such as ‘Illustrated: carcinoma of the breast' brings up the full article with pictures. Using the hyperlinks, the site is easy and intuitive to navigate.

GP trainees will find this resource invaluable when compiling their learning logs. For example, if after seeing a patient with a nipple inversion, a trainee reflects on ‘when does nipple inversion make me think of cancer', he or she may want to want to check under the ‘symptoms' section of ‘Women's health'. Once they find the information, they can record the learning in their ePortfolios. Usually, the articles provide a broad, GP overview with references, some hyperlinked to more detailed reading. The articles are relevant because most of them have been written by GPs or by hospital consultants for a GP audience. In addition, the style of the articles is flowing and easy to read.

The resource will also be useful to GPs compiling their appraisal or revalidation folders. For example, I looked at ‘Research and academic activity' for ideas before completing my appraisal paperwork. This year, instead of writing ‘did not participate in research', I was able to discuss the barriers to my practice participating in research according to the five core competencies for GP-based research. If nothing else, I enjoyed changing my usual response.

As a trainer, I will use this resource regularly because the compilers update the website to contain peer-reviewed articles published in the last two years. It's good to know that I'm consulting the latest guidance. I also like the ‘comment' box at the end of each article. Some articles now contain comments such as ‘good guideline, practical approach'. I tend to read the articles with positive reviews first. The feature, ‘add this article to my storage folder' is useful for compiling a reading list. Finally, ‘send this article to a friend' is useful for emailing articles to my work email or directly to my trainee in preparation for a tutorial.

All in all, this is a useful and easy-to-navigate resource containing up-to-date and relevant articles that GPs and GP trainees are very likely to use when compiling their learning logs for appraisal or work-based assessment."

Dr Leke Asong , a GP registrar in Nottinghamshire
"The Healthcare Republic website is an online resource for primary care issues. Clinical and non-clinical matters are discussed, with information relevant for GPs, nurses, pharmacists, and even practice-staff.

As learning is becoming more and more internet based, an easy-to-use webpage is mandatory. Thankfully this is the case here, and even the novice will navigate smoothly.

The exciting news is the addition of the GP Curriculum Centre to this website; an important addition for GP Registrars to aid AKT and CSA exam preparation.

As lifelong learning is essential for established GPs, this feature is also invaluable for CPD.

If you ever thought the curriculum statements were a dry read, then look no further than the GP Curriculum Centre, which has been approved by the RCGP.

Here, each of the curriculum statements is accompanied by articles relevant to the given theme.

Taking the RCGP curriculum-3.7: Teaching, mentoring and Clinical Supervision, as an example, below is a list of just some of the articles:

nMRCGP-Preparing Registrars for the CSA, How to make the most of your trainer, Honing your presentation skills, Become an out-of-hours supervisor, and Revalidation for GP educators.

The quality of articles is very high and, one is reassured, they are reviewed by GP advisers, who regularly update them if need be.

There is the additional option of adding  articles into a storage folder, sending to a friend, viewing or adding comments, and of course printing (for die-hard paper lovers)

In my opinion, this site is best used to look for information, rather than to browse aimlessly. Otherwise, one risks getting lost in a maze of information, as all articles and information seem ‘click worthy'. This might lead to information overload, something you would want to avoid especially if preparing for the AKT or CSA.

The above however is not a drawback, but a common feature of websites, due to the very nature information is laid out.

With that in mind, the information you are looking for is most likely to be found, given the variety and abundance of good quality information.

Also on Heathcare Republic is the Forums section, in which relevant hot topics are discussed by members. Should you be job hunting, you might want to find out what is hot here, for that job interview. There is also a section on relevant courses available, and an option to view webcasts.

I found some of the curriculum statements had too many subdivisions, making clicking an endless process. This is particularly true of Statement 15.9: Rheumatology, Musculoskeletal and Trauma.

Few curriculum statements actually describe Symptoms after clicking on the word link, but take the reader through other articles instead.

Statement 15.2: Digestive symptoms, is one of the few that actually go through GI symptomatology. A bit of tidying up and grouping is all that is needed to remedy both issues above.

I highly recommend this site, and in my opinion it should go straight into your Favourites, as you are most likely to revisit.

Don't take my word for it though, have a browse, submit feedback and confirm!"

Dr Ankit Kant, a newly-qualified GP in Norfolk
The GP Curriculum Centre on Healthcare Republic is a new resource that aims to organise its own articles according to the curriculum developed by the RCGP.

It has been developed as a quality educational resource primarily aimed at GPs and those preparing for the MRCGP.

Its main usefulness is its clarity in organising its articles into relevant areas. On clicking on these areas you are taking through to a selection of articles of relevance.

Whilst still at the early stages, each of the areas covered are thoroughly indexed and whilst not exhaustive, are being added to weekly.

The articles seem to be targeted at the right level. For example exploring the ENT statement links through to a truly massive list of areas, which could be helpful for those looking for specific topics within ENT or those who wish to improve on ENT knowledge generally.

The unique way that the site has been laid out also allows users to make sure that all domains are covered. It also helpfully dates when the article was written so you can be sure that the information you are given is up to date.

A search specific button on the curriculum centre homepage would have made it easier to find a particular article and be able to find out where it sits in the curriculum.

For trainees wishing to expand their ePortfolio in a meaningful way they can pick a topic, do the relevant reading then link it back and have it count in their learning log. This is its most valuable role and something of particular interest to those just starting out as a GP trainee.

Updating the ePortfolio is an important part of continuing professional development and the website makes this task a much easier prospect. For those wishing to prepare for a tutorial (trainee or trainer) or just read about a particular area it does prove an excellent resource.

The GP Curriculum Centre is a must for anyone who works with the curriculum; it should be a mandatory bookmark for GPs and trainees when preparing for appraisal or for ePortfolio work."


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