In ‘The future of medical education in the UK’ Professor Rees called for students to experience general practice early on in their training. He said education facilities in the community will be a key part of this.
He said: ‘Although medical education tends to follow changes in clinical practice and NHS organisation, we must predict these more precisely to avoid too many students chasing too few jobs in smaller specialities such as surgery.
‘If more graduates are needed to work in general practice and in community facilities, then students need to experience these environments early and throughout their undergraduate training.’
Professor Rees said where new organisations such as GP consortia are developed, educators must be involved in planning educational resources, in terms of space, room design and staff time.
‘If education gets proper representation in the planning then the development of larger units for the delivery of community health could have great possibilities for teaching,’ he said.