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Barry Lewis 1 Article
How can a postgraduate professional education and development course benefit general practitioners?: a qualitative study  
Steven Agius, Rebecca Baron, Barry Lewis, Stephen Luckhurst, Mark Sloan, Thomas Ward
J Educ Eval Health Prof. 2015;12:31.   Published online June 20, 2015
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3352/jeehp.2015.12.31
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Purpose
The rationale for ‘professional education and development’ (PED) courses is to support general practitioners, enabling them to access a range of theoretical and practical skills within a supportive schema. It aims to identify whether and how a regional PED course has had a beneficial impact upon participants. Methods: The study comprised a qualitative investigation of participants’ assessed coursework portfolios. The content of each portfolio gives individual accounts of the impact of the course on personal and practice development. Permission to access extant portfolios was obtained from 16 recent alumni of the course. The anonymous written material was analysed by the research team for recurring discourses and themes using a thematic framework analysis. Results: Seven major thematic categories were extrapolated from the data: leadership, resilience, quality improvement, change management, development of new services, educational expertise, and patient safety. In each category, we found evidence that the course enabled development of practitioners by enhancing knowledge and skills which had a positive impact upon their self-perceived effectiveness and motivation. Conclusion: Extended specialty training is on the horizon but such courses may still serve a valuable purpose for current trainees and the existing general practitioners workforce which will be responsible for leading the shift towards community-based service delivery.

JEEHP : Journal of Educational Evaluation for Health Professions