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Teaching and Learning Core Values in General Practice/Family Medicine: A Narrative Review

  • Michels, Nele R. M.1
  • Maagaard, Roar2
  • Švab, Igor3
  • Scherpbier, Nynke4
  • 1 Department of Family Medicine and Population Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Antwerp, Antwerp , (Belgium)
  • 2 Centre for Health Sciences Education, Aarhus University, Aarhus , (Denmark)
  • 3 Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana , (Slovenia)
  • 4 Department of Primary and Community Care, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, Nijmegen , (Netherlands)
Published Article
Frontiers in Medicine
Frontiers Media SA
Publication Date
May 11, 2021
DOI: 10.3389/fmed.2021.647223
  • Medicine
  • Perspective


General Practice/Family Medicine (GP/FM) is a key discipline within primary health care and so by extension for the whole health care system. An essential condition for effective GP/FM care is a work force that is highly qualified. As society is changing rapidly, a revision of the GP/FM definition is ongoing, in addition to a recent movement of identifying related core values. In this paper, we want to give an overview on how these new paths and perspectives are currently reflected in GP/FM teaching and training. We selected four core values that fit in with possible future visions: person-centered care, continuity of care, cooperation in care, and community-oriented care. By a narrative review, we observed that GP/FM education toward core values is often built around overarching topics. Teaching and learning take place in specific contexts, most of all through placements within communities, primary care settings, or hospital wards. Mixed teaching- and training methods are used combining knowledge, skills, and attitude. Furthermore, collaboration with other health professionals and peers is stressed, in addition to the importance of role models, a holistic focus and the involvement of patients. Since these core values are important within GP/FM and rather few studies on the educational aspects and learning tools were found we advocate encouraging each other more to share good practices, certainly the innovative ones specifically related to GP/FM.

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