The RACGP Curriculum for Australian General Practice 2011 builds on the strengths of the previous 2007 curriculum and The RACGP Training Program Curriculum 1998. It is a truly collective effort which codifies countless hours of general practice experience into a solid professional foundation for the high quality education and training of our future general practitioners.
In February 2011, The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Council identified the need to renew the curriculum for Australian general practice training.
The Council recognised that the previous curriculum was robust and sound, but would need to be updated to include the newer, contemporary core competencies that are necessary for practising within an evolving general practice environment. The rise of e-health, the requirements of leadership and management, quality and safety concerns and the increasing role of teaching and research in general practice within the context of multidisciplinary primary care, all present educational and training challenges. Updating the general practice curriculum is the first step on the path to incorporating these skills into the lifelong learning of GPs.
Curricula are very much the domain of educators, and so the next step will be the development of curriculum learning supports for general practice registrars and teaching guides for educators to help meet training requirements. For this reason, an updated edition of The RACGP Curriculum Companion will be published. The College will seek input from registrars and general practice educators around Australia to assist in the production of these valuable resources.
Future planned curriculum developments will include online interactive tools to assist learners and educators. This will ensure that the collective wisdom and professional expertise of generations of GPs are passed on effectively and efficiently.
Curriculum renewal is an ongoing process because of the changing environment of medicine and general practice. Continual feedback is encouraged and we welcome feedback through the RACGP website. Ongoing maintenance of The RACGP Curriculum for Australian General Practice will be facilitated by the RACGP National Standing Committee for Education.
The 2011 curriculum is the beginning of a renewal process that will provide continuing and relevant support to learners and educators to assist GPs in acquiring the necessary skills, knowledge and attitudes to provide high quality general practice care, training and research within the modern world that is Australian general practice.
We recognise that our future achievements depend upon our past successes, and this contemporary curriculum could not have been achieved without the endless commitment of contributors to this, and past, curricula. For this, we thank all of those involved, but I suspect that their reward is the knowledge that our profession's body of learning will provide a sound basis for high quality general practice care to the Australian community.
And this is the reason that we spend our lives learning.
Professor Claire Jackson