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At the heart of general practice since 1960

9. Dr Alex Harding

Exposed training hours fall

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Dr Alex Harding published work in the BJGP this year showing that GP teaching for medical students was falling, which was picked up by The Times as well as by Pulse.

The Exeter GP and academic published a paper that found medical students spend 14% less learning time in general practice than they did 10 years ago, a shortfall that experts claim is contributing to the crisis in GP training. The number of departments of general practice in medical schools in the UK has also fallen in that period, while only 7% of the funding for medical schools goes into teaching general practice.

In another paper, Dr Harding showed the true cost of teaching students, and discovered that funding models don’t include overheads, such as space in the GP surgery.

It’s been a hard year for Dr Harding’s practice, with funding falling by 15% per patient. Nevertheless, he has found time to run a continuity of care pilot whereby students attach to a practice for two years.

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