|UEMO 2003 Declaration on Specific Training in General Practice/Family Medicin in Europe
General practitioners/family physicians are
in principle the first point of contact for a unselected group of patients.
Health education, preventive activities, early detection, problem oriented
care, terminal care and palliation are the tasks GP should be able to
address and perform, as well as coordination the specialists’ treatment and
knowledge on all existing services within the local health care system.
General practitioners are the ones to counsel and guide patients with
chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, asthma, respiratory and cardiac
disorders, as well as the basic care of psychosomatic disorders. At last but
not at least they must be able to treat and follow up poly-morbid and
General practitioners should be familiar with all common diseases in the
community and with all preventable conditions. They must be familiar with
the therapeutic principles of pharmaceutical products, their side effects
and interactions, since they prescribe most of the medicaments in ambulatory
care. They must also consider the treatment possibilities in other medical
fields in order to be able to advocate their patients.
To achieve all that, GP/FF should have special communication skills, since
he/she has to inform patients on their diseases and treatment options in a
way, adapted to the individual patient.
1. With this document the UEMO wishes to establish goals and proposals with
special relevance for the specific training of general practitioners.
2. Specific training is a prerequisite for the good practice and must take
its starting point as soon as possible in general practice. It must be
conducted on both a theoretical and a practical level and ought to be of
direct use in the practitioner's daily work. General practitioner
organisations should strive to place general practitioners in charge of all
aspects of specific general practice training, no matter if it is undertaken
in general practice setting or at clinical posts.
3. All doctors should be exposed to training in general practice both in
their undergraduate training and as part of the postgraduate training before
entering specific training.
4. Specific general practice training must be orientated towards general
practice throughout the entire training period. The content of training is
the responsibility of the national professional and academic organisations
in GP/FM, as well as the organization and standards of training. The
frameworks within which the training takes place must necessarily include
cooperation with the health and the financing authorities.
5. The goal is for the duration of training for general practice to be of
the same duration as other specialist training, including a practical and
theoretical part, and for the content to be relevant and appropriate, aimed
at acquiring the required competences. Flexibility should be available to
take account of individuals’ educational experience and needs.
Minimum of half of training time should be spent in the general practice
6. UEMO supports the migration process in Europe- guaranteed the quality of
care for both, migrating patients and migrating GPs.
7. The purpose of training for general practitioners is to produce a doctor
who has obtained a level of clinical competence sufficient for independent
8. The quality of the scientific and educational posts in general practice
must be delivered through explicit contracts specifying the educational
content and mechanisms for evaluation, establishing precise goals and
appropriate criteria, promoting the methodology and implementation of
research and quality assurance in general practice.
9. Common core content of GP/FM throughout Europe was defined to prepare
general practitioners for independent practice in all European countries.
10. No part of training should have a minimum commitment of less than 50% of
full time training. The total duration of training will be extended pro rata
to compensate for any periods of part time training.
11. An attempt to develop methods for assessment and follow up process and
results of specific training must be supported. Methods of evaluation must
be integrated into the educational programmes. General practice
organisations must decide on and take responsibility for the evaluative
12. Sufficient and substantial resources must be provided for training to
produce skilful and competent independent general practitioners. It is the
responsibility of the individual general practitioner to make optimal use of
resources. It is the responsibility of the professional organizations to
secure and develop an effective framework for the specific training- the
network of trainers, training practices (in GP/FM), hospitals and training
programs. It is the responsibility of the health care systems to guarantee
the financing of specific training and training posts, both economically and
13. Specifically allocated resources (time, money, programs and trainers)
are a prerequisite for the quality assurance of structured training in
GP/FM. Each member state needs to plan to meet its own workforce needs and
access to general practice.
14. It is high time to finally recognise the new position of general
practice/family medicine in Europe, admitting that the GP/FM as a speciality
equal to all others.