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Educ Prim Care. 2017 Feb 16:1-6. doi: 10.1080/14739879.2017.1289340. [Epub ahead of print]

Using GP trainees as role players as a teaching/training tool for established GP trainers.

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a The GP School , Health Education England , Oxfordshire , UK.
b Department of Primary Care Health Sciences , Oxford University , Oxford , UK.


This work aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of using GP trainees in place of professional actors, to role-play trainees with 'difficulties' or various challenging characteristics, as an educational tool for skills development of experienced GP trainers. The context was a residential experienced GP trainers' course and the role players were local ST3 GP trainees. Professional actors have been used for this purpose for many years in medical education at all levels, particularly in teaching communication and consultation skills in the Thames Valley area of the UK. We wanted to trial and evaluate whether using GP trainees themselves, with their own more authentic 'hinterland' of experience, (but no acting training) would be as, or more, effective than using actors. The exercise was successful and showed, through post-course feedback (immediate written feedback and later on-line questionnaire), that the use of trainees was considered by the delegates to be an effective, adaptable and realistic training tool, and more so than using professional actors. The trainees also reported educational benefit from the experience.


Faculty development; continuing professional development; general practice trainees; general practice trainers; role playing; simulation

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