This site is intended for health professionals only

New pilot to enhance focus on generalism in doctor education

New pilot to enhance focus on generalism in doctor education

A new pilot programme will ‘embed generalist skills early’ in medical education and help ‘overcome boundaries’ between specialties.

HEE today announced the launch of the new programme aimed to ‘equip a generation of clinicians with generalist skills’.

It said that 150 learners are being enrolled on its ‘enhance’ programme across England as it is piloted across seven regional ‘trailblazers’, with the first cohort to start in post this month.

The programme will ‘embed generalist skills early’ into medical training ‘and the wider health system’ and ‘help overcome boundaries between specialties and organisations – leading to more integrated care’, it added.

HEE said that the pilot comes after its 2020 Future Doctor report recommended a ‘fundamental shift in medical education from a system that places too much emphasis on specialism, to one that equally values generalist skills and approaches and a closely-aligned multi-professional team’. 

It said: ‘enhance is HEE’s response to this – an interwoven offer with the goal of embedding generalist approaches early in training. 

‘It will complement current Postgraduate Medical and Allied Health Professional education, as well as supporting continued professional development of senior clinicians.’

The ‘demand for clinicians with enhanced generalist skills’ was also ‘highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic’, it added.

HEE said it hopes the programme will enable clinicians to be ‘more confident in managing complex care across a range of physical and mental health service delivery throughout their careers’, such as complex co-morbidity, and to take a ‘whole person approach’ to healthcare.

HEE medical director and director of quality and education Professor Wendy Reid said: ‘By embedding generalist approaches in training we will ensure that all doctors have access to a robust, future-proof training experience, encouraging a curiosity for lifelong learning through personally relevant enquiry and are empowered to effect change within the communities they serve to ensure the best outcomes for their patients.’

She added: ‘This is not about re-writing or changing established curricula or training. It will amplify generalist principles, for example understanding population health, delivering sustainable healthcare and reducing health inequity. 

‘These are skills needed by both hospital-based clinicians and primary care practitioners.

‘By focusing on the early years of training, acquiring enhanced generalist skills will be prioritised for all professionals, grounding their knowledge in the population and public health spectrum wherever they work and train.’

Last month, HEE also launched a pilot programme for training general internal medicine consultants, to take over the GP role in coordinating inpatient and outpatient care for patients with ‘multiple unrelated conditions’.

Meanwhile, a medical degree apprenticeship scheme has been ‘approved for delivery’ and could start from September next year.



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Patrufini Duffy 17 August, 2022 12:37 pm

“This is not about re-writing or changing established curricula or training.” Sure thing – same same, grey grey.

Well, well – pointless you talking then.

David Church 17 August, 2022 9:36 pm

Leeds Medical School had such a generalist and population-health focus to undergraduate training in the 1980s, but it’s ‘Man In Society’ modules were not always participated in avidly by students, despite the fun and adventurous activities provided, because it focussed on concepts, rather than the regurgitatable-facts frequent examinations-based methods of some other parts of the course.
However, I felt the education we had there was ideal foundation for generalist doctors, who could always add a special interest on top if they felt like.