Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Eur J Gen Pract. 2017 Nov 23:1-6. doi: 10.1080/13814788.2017.1389884. [Epub ahead of print]

Knowledge, competencies and attitudes regarding external post-mortem physical examination: A survey among German post-graduate trainees in general practice.

Author information

a Institute of General Practice and Multi-Disciplinary Healthcare , University Hospital and Faculty of Medicine Tübingen , Tübingen , Germany.
b Department of General Practice and Health Services Research , University of Heidelberg Hospital , Heidelberg , Germany.
c Institute of Family Medicine , University Hospital , Lübeck , Germany.
d Institute for Forensic and Traffic Medicine , University of Heidelberg Hospital , Heidelberg , Germany.
e Health Department , City Mannheim , Mannheim , Germany.



The external post-mortem examination (EPME) is an important medical, legal and socio-economic task with far-reaching relevance; however, due to discrepancies between findings from EPMEs and actual cause of death, improvements in accuracy and quality are needed.


To investigate knowledge, competencies and attitudes regarding EPME in general practitioner (GP) post-graduate trainees.


Before four post-graduate training courses on the EPME for general practitioner trainees, organized in 2014 in the German federal state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, a questionnaire on the EPME was distributed by the lecturer, completed by the GP post-graduate trainees and returned to the lecturer. The questionnaire consisted of 19 items related to three main categories: knowledge, competencies and attitudes.


Out of 380 GP post-graduate trainees, 128 completed and returned the questionnaire (response rate 33.7%). Less than 18% felt adequately confident in identifying a natural cause of death and less than 5% felt adequately confident in identifying an unnatural cause of death. Only 33% consistently fully uncover the corpse for the EPME.


We found an important uncertainty in GP post-graduate trainees regarding their EPME knowledge and competencies.


General practitioner; legal medicine; medical education; post-graduate training; post-mortem examination

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Taylor & Francis
    Loading ...
    Support Center