Time for an undergraduate curriculum in general practice for Nepal

K Butterworth, R Pradhan
JNMA; Journal of the Nepal Medical Association 2010, 49 (179): 185-90

INTRODUCTION: This is a qualitative study, to generate a framework for a core curriculum in General Practice in the undergraduate setting, designed specifically for Nepal.

METHODS: A Delphi process was used to involve representatives from the GP faculty in Institute of Medicine, BP Koirala institute BPKIHS, Patan Hospital/National Academy Medical Sciences and Tansen mission hospital. The Delphi involves getting input from an identified group of experts and progressively feeding back the results from each round of enquiry so that subsequent views are influenced until a point of convergence is reached. In effect the Delphi not only analyses problems and identifies solutions, but can begin the process of commitment to change.

RESULTS: A prioritized list of the key outcomes for an undergraduate GP curriculum was developed and a broad list of knowledge, skills and attitudes were defined. A balance was observed between the need to train doctors who are skilled in communication, who have compassion for their patients, who are also required to be excellent rational clinicians able to respond to emergency situations. There was also the need for doctors to be competent not just in individual clinical care, but in the care of communities.

CONCLUSIONS: General Practice, as a core component of primary care, should be an obligatory part of every undergraduate medical curriculum. This Delphi process has produced an important framework for a national undergraduate curriculum in General Practice, designed specifically for Nepal.

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