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Fam Pract. 2003 Jun;20(3):318-23.

A framework for clinical general practice and for research and teaching in the discipline.

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Research Unit for General Practice, University of Aarhus, Vennelyst Boulevard 6, DK-8000 Aarhus C Denmark.


This paper uses three typical case stories from general practice to demonstrate that a GP simultaneously considers four dimensions when making a diagnosis and planning subsequent treatment of a patient in the consultation: (i). a biomedical dimension; (ii). a culture and context dimension; (iii). a medico-psychological dimension; and (iv). a network and social dimension. By taking this diagnostic and therapeutic approach, the GP adds value to the total performance of the health care system. It is demonstrated that a GP needs theoretical, research-based knowledge and skills within all four dimensions, and that it is necessary for a GP to work together with both medical and non-medical disciplines when defining the research and teaching agenda. It is stressed that consultation and communication skills are important tools for any doctor, and the value of continuity of care is discussed. Finally, the implications of the diagnostic approach with respect to planning research and teaching programmes are discussed, and the need for a better balance is stressed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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