Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Scopus Web of Science® Altmetric
Type: Journal article
Title: Family medicine trainees' clinical experience of chronic disease during training: a cross-sectional analysis from the registrars' clinical encounters in training study
Author: Magin, P.
Morgan, S.
Henderson, K.
Tapley, A.
McElduff, P.
Pearlman, J.
Goode, S.
Spike, N.
Laurence, C.
Scott, J.
Thomson, A.
van Driel, M.
Citation: BMC Medical Education, 2014; 14(1):260-1-260-9
Publisher: BioMed Central
Issue Date: 2014
ISSN: 1472-6920
Statement of
Parker Magin, Simon Morgan, Kim Henderson, Amanda Tapley, Patrick McElduff, James Pearlman, Susan Goode, Neil Spike, Caroline Laurence, John Scott, Allison Thomson and Mieke van Driel
Abstract: Background: A broad case-mix in family physicians’ (general practitioners’, GPs’) vocational trainee experience is deemed essential in producing competent independent practitioners. It is suggested that the patient-mix should include common and significant conditions and be similar to that of established GPs. But the content of contemporary GP trainees’ clinical experience in training is not well-documented. In particular, how well trainees’ experience reflects changing general practice demographics (with an increasing prevalence of chronic disease) is unknown. We aimed to establish levels of trainees’ clinical exposure to chronic disease in training (and associations of this exposure) and to establish content differences in chronic disease consultations (compared to other consultations), and differences in trainees’ actions arising from these consultations. Methods: A cross-sectional analysis from the Registrars’ Clinical Encounters in Training (ReCEnT) study, a cohort study of GP registrars’ (trainees’) consultations in four Australian GP training organisations. Trainees record detailed data from 60 consecutive consultations per six-month training term. Diagnoses/problems encountered are coded using the International Classification of Primary Care-2 PLUS (ICPC-2 PLUS). A classification system derived from ICPC-2 PLUS was used to define diagnoses/problems as chronic/non-chronic disease. The outcome factor for analyses was trainees’ consultations in which chronic disease was encountered. Independent variables were a range of patient, trainee, practice, consultation and educational factors. Results: Of 48,112 consultations (of 400 individual trainees), 29.5% included chronic disease problems/diagnoses. Associations of a consultation including chronic disease were the patient being older, male, and having consulted the trainee previously, and the practice routinely bulk-billing (not personally charging) patients. Consultations involving a chronic disease lasted longer, dealt with more problems/diagnoses, and were more likely to result in specialist referrals and trainees generating a personal learning goal. They were associated with less pathology tests being ordered. Conclusions: Trainees saw chronic disease less frequently than have established GPs in comparable studies. The longer duration and more frequent generation of learning goals in chronic disease-containing consultations suggest trainees may find these consultations particularly challenging. Our findings may inform the design of measures aimed at increasing the chronic disease component of trainees’ patient-mix.
Keywords: Humans; Chronic Disease; Cross-Sectional Studies; Family Practice; Education, Medical, Graduate; Clinical Competence; Adult; Referral and Consultation; Australia; Female; Male
Rights: © 2014 Magin et al.; licensee BioMed Central. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
RMID: 0030022746
DOI: 10.1186/s12909-014-0260-7
Appears in Collections:General Practice publications

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
hdl_89821.pdfPublished version354.85 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.