552 General Practice Surgeons Experience Of Training And Practice: Results From A Qualitative Inquiry

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Aims and background: Rural and remote communities cannot support local specialist care due to the low volume of cases and the lack of immediate collegial support. There is, however, a growing evidence base suggesting the benefits of treating patients in their home communities for common surgical procedures where possible. The emerging health human resource solution in Canada and internationally has been to provide enhanced skills training to general practitioners to balance the need for primary care and the occasional specialist procedure. In Canada, however, there has not been a consistently supported training program to support GPs who wish to gain enhanced skills training, nor is there a recognized process of accreditation or regulatory framework for those who do gain such skills. This has led to challenging training and practice conditions for GP surgeons which threatens the sustainability of the practice and thus of the best possible care to rural residents. The aims of this qualitative study were to document the training and practice experiences of GP surgeons in Western Canada.
Materials and methods: In-depth qualitative interviews were undertaken with 57 GP surgeons in British Columbia and Alberta between 2006 and 2007.
Results: Participants revealed participation in structured as opposed to participant-driven training programs was more efficacious and training undertaken with mentors who had previously practised as general practice physicians in a rural environment were more likely able to meet their rurally specific educational needs. Within a practice environment, there is a clear need for formal and standardized accreditation where currently it is mentor and health-authority dependent. GP surgeons would benefit from a comprehensive regulatory environment.
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General Practice Surgeons Experience of Training and Practice: Results from a Qualitative Inquiry