RATIONALE, AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: Clinical effectiveness and evidence-based practice (EBP) are the cornerstone of modern day health care. Although many studies have explored attitudes and perceived knowledge of individual professions few have compared the factors between professional groups and in particular in the medical profession. We report a study comparing the views, knowledge and practice of hospital doctors with their general practitioner (GP) counterparts in terms of EBP and clinical effectiveness. In this way it was hoped to highlight not only any differences between these groups but also the needs of these groups and suggest some ways of fulfilling these. METHODS: A postal questionnaire survey was completed by a random sample of 500 GPs and 500 hospital medics. RESULTS: There was a significant difference between the groups with the GPs rating their skill level as lower that their medical doctor counterparts. Similarly, GPs reported using EBP steps less frequently than hospital doctors. Barriers to implementing EBP differed between the groups with GPs reporting difficulty with accessing a library and making time available. CONCLUSION: A number of differences between GPs and their hospital counterparts were recorded which highlights the difference in educational and policy approach required for greater uptake of EBP.