Article Text

Download PDFPDF
CPD in the remote environment: a role for practice-based small group learning?
  1. Michael Mathew Eager1,
  2. S C Capella2,
  3. A Willman1 and
  4. N Taylor1
  1. 1 Academic Department of Military General Practice, RCDM, Birmingham, UK
  2. 2 Major Trauma Service, RCDM, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Maj N Taylor, Academic Department of Military General Practice, RCDM, Birmingham, B15 2WB, UK; nat.taylor4{at}


Background Continuous professional development (CPD) is recognised as essential and mandated by the Royal College of General Practitioners and other medical professional colleges. However, it can be difficult to maintain when deployed and remote from normal training and support structures. There is no literature directly discussing how military doctors in the deployed and remote environment maintain CPD and if practice-based small group learning (PBSGL) could be an appropriate tool to facilitate this in future.

Aim To describe the CPD experience of medical officers (MOs) working for the Defence Medical Services (DMS) and assess if offering PBSGL would be welcomed and likely beneficial.

Design and setting This is a quantitative survey of doctors working in primary care within the DMS.

Method A questionnaire was designed to elicit opinions, current practice and previous experience of CPD within the deployed and firm base environments. It also aimed to elicit prior experience of and appetite for PBSGL as a solution. This was then distributed via email to MOs working for the DMS.

Results 130 responses (25%) were received. 122 (96%) had heard of PBSGL, 56% had participated in PBSGL in the firm base. 60% agreed or strongly agreed PBSGL was an effective way to maintain CPD. 73% reported eLearning as a mode of maintaining CPD while deployed or working in a remote environment.

Conclusion This study demonstrated that many general practitioners deployed to remote locations feel that CPD provision could be improved and that PBSGL is a potential solution.

  • medical education & training
  • primary care
  • world wide web technology

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request. Ethics not required.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request. Ethics not required.

View Full Text


  • Twitter @icemaidennat

  • Collaborators Professor Michael Smith.

  • Contributors NT, MME and SLC wrote and distributed the survey. NT and AW analysed the data and all assisted with the write up.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.