This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

GPs are split over the knowledge test

GPs are divided on whether a knowledge test should be introduced as part of recertification.

Although 45 per cent picked a knowledge test as one of their preferred forms of assessment, a third of GPs said it would be their least preferred option.

Peer review was the most popular option as an assessment of practice, with 84 per cent support. Two out of five GPs picked role play as their least favoured option.

In his report, 'Good Doctors, Safer Patients', Sir Liam Donaldson left it up to the RCGP to decide what the standards would be for recertification and how GPs would be assessed.

Dr Catherine Faarup, a GP in Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, said no other profession was subject to a knowledge test. She said: 'Having to do an exam every five years is enough to make anyone, including myself, consider an alternative career.'

Dr Maurice Brooks, a GP in Newport, Isle of Wight, said: 'A knowledge test will only prove what five years at medical school have already shown: we can all swot up for exams.'

Dr Elizabeth Walsh-Heggie, a GP in Rothbury, Northumberland, asked: 'Would a knowledge test be at a very basic

level and therefore worthless, or tailored to each individual's practice?'

On proposals for 360-degree appraisals for GPs, half of respondents said they would be happy for patients to assess their practice but only 36 per cent were content for managers to be involved.

Rate this article 

Click to rate

  • 1 star out of 5
  • 2 stars out of 5
  • 3 stars out of 5
  • 4 stars out of 5
  • 5 stars out of 5

0 out of 5 stars

Have your say