Background General practitioners need the skills to perform a core set of procedures.
The increase in community based medical education gives GPs more
opportunity and responsibility to facilitate medical students and junior
doctors’ acquisition of these core skills.
Objective This article summarises how procedural skills are learned and
describes a practical framework for constructing a supportive learning
environment that is safe for patients and learners.
Discussion Procedural skills are learned in stages starting with a ‘big picture’
concept of the skill and its place in clinical care. Next the skill becomes
fixed through deliberate practice with specific, constructive feedback
based on observation. Autonomous practice is reached after further
practice and exposure to increased complexity. General practitioners
can facilitate skill development by using a staged learning cycle,
building on their learner’s prior knowledge and skill.
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