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CPD in the remote environment: a role for practice-based small group learning?


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.

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