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Knowledge work in primary care and the wider context

Knowledge work in primary care and the wider context - an overview of how to explore using knowledge work skills in a wider GP career.
This week we explore where else you can use your skills to support your wider GP career. We will look at the knowledge work opportunities across your extended GP role and career, by using some examples including education, QI and research, reflection and writing, and leadership. Using some of the case studies you will be familiar with from the previous weeks, we will consider examples of how you might expand your portfolio of interests. Through each example we want you to think about the previously discussed 4 elements of knowledge work; innovation, integration, application and learning, and how you might apply them to your own portfolio of practice.
In previous weeks, we have described the complexities of general practice and reminded you of the valuable general practice wisdom that you contribute through the knowledge work activities of every day person centred medicine. We hope that now, you feel that you have the skills and permission to create new knowledge, implement change and learn from this process on a daily basis. These ideas are not unique to the WISDOM project and there is a growing international movement recognising and encouraging the knowledge work of whole-person family medicine healthcare (you can find more details in the references).
As a GP, you have both an opportunity and a professional responsibility to build links to grow your community of practice, to benefit your colleagues, and the wider population of patients. You also have the same role in promoting the image of general practice. Sadly, the evidence is that our expertise are under-recognised and under-valued which has a knock on effect on patient care, staff recruitment and retention and the effectiveness of primary healthcare as a system. General practice needs to be promoted as the intellectually stimulating expert generalist career choice that it is. This is a new vision for general practice and we are keen that you have the opportunity to now plan your future career as an expert generalist GP.
This week in order to engage the 4 elements of knowledge work in your wider practice we want you to consider some essential steps that will facilitate your career progression using your GP wisdom. We will look at how to implement and learn from change that your knowledge work has generated, ways to share your learning to improve patient care, service provision and help colleagues to develop their own knowledge work skills, and how through this process you are inspiring others in the new vision of the future of general practice. In each section, an ‘optional task’ is detailed.
One of the outcomes of this course is to identify one or two of these tasks you feel you could undertake to demonstrate the knowledge works skills you have gained and create an action plan for your future role as a Wise GP.

Now, Dr James Bennett gives us – an overview of how to explore using knowledge work skills in a wider GP career.

How does the idea of expanding your knowledge work skills make you feel? Share your thoughts with your colleagues in the comments box below.


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  2. Burton C. Lucassen P. Aamland A. Olde Hartman T. Explaining symptoms after negative tests: towards a rational explanation. J R Soc Med Published online. 2014. DOI: 10.1177/0141076814559082
  3. Gabbay J. le May A. Mindlines: making sense of evidence in practice. Br J Gen Pract. 2016. 66 (649). 402 – 403. DOI: 10.3399/bjgp16X686221
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  5. McKELVIE, S. 2021. Clinical Decision Making in Uncertainty; An Ethnography of a Complex Intervention in the Ambulatory Emergency Care setting. DM thesis, University of Oxford.
  6. Darnton R, Marrous E, Brimicombe J, Kinnear J, Tisi R, Burns A, Wood D, Wilkinson P. Career intentions and perceptions of general practice on entry to medical school: Baseline findings of a longitudinal survey at three UK universities. BJGPOpen. 2021. DOI:
  7. Sahota K, Goeres P, Kelly M, Tang E, Hofmeister M, Alberti H. Intellectual stimulation in family medicine: an international qualitative study students perceptions. BJGP Open. 2020. 25. 4 (3) DOI: 10.3399/bjgpopen20X101045.
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WISDOM - Tomorrow’s Doctor, Today: Supporting Today’s Expert Generalist GP

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