Musculoskeletal education in primary care has previously been shown, in 1995, to be inadequate . The aims of this study were to evaluate the current musculoskeletal education and skills during vocational training for general practice and to see if progress has been made. Questionnaires were sent to General Practice Registrars, in general practice attachments in June 2004. Four UK General Practice Deaneries participated (Northern, Mersey, Yorkshire and Wessex). Questionnaires were received from 251 (44 %) registrars. Of the responders, only 77 % reported receiving specific clinical rheumatology teaching at medical school and 30 % had not received any tutorials on musculoskeletal conditions during their vocational training. Of the registrars, 16 % reported having completed a rheumatology post, and an additional 19 % had been able to attend rheumatology outpatient clinics; 70 % of the registrars had injected or aspirated the knee although less than half of these (22 %) had done this in a primary care setting. Lack of experience was associated with low confidence at knowing when to perform the injection and with performing the injection itself. A significant proportion of registrars reported being pre-dominantly self-taught for performing injections (soft tissue = 10.7 %, joint injections = 8.7 %) and for the management of shoulder pain (20.1 %). Registrars rated their overall musculoskeletal training as inadequate. Primary care musculoskeletal education remains inadequate and needs to be improved to enable registrars to be confident in managing a significant proportion of their workload. Identifying learning needs for primary care would inform future educational interventions.