Promoting general practice in medical schools. Where are we now?

In November 2016, the Medical Schools Council and Health Education England published a joint report chaired by Professor Val Wass: ‘By choice – not by chance’ to raise the profile of general practice as a positive career choice for medical students.

We sought to evaluate the impact of the report by firstly, asking the views of Heads of GP teaching at UK medical schools whether and how the report has supported them in raising the profile of general practice and secondly, describing the initiatives developed by medical schools in a national survey. There was a perception reported by heads of GP teaching that the report has been highly influential in facilitating the promotion of general practice as a career to medical students. We describe multiple specific initiatives developed in response to the report’s recommendations. The national survey confirmed that whilst there is significant variation across medical schools in their response to the specific recommendations in the report, definite progress is being made. A number of areas that need particular consideration have been highlighted and we would recommend that future surveys are completed at appropriate time intervals to review further progress.