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Publication Detail
The real costs of teaching medical students in general practice: a cost-collection survey of teaching practices across England.
BACKGROUND: Current funding arrangements for undergraduate medical student placements in general practice are widely regarded as outdated, inequitable, and in need of urgent review. AIM: To undertake a detailed costing exercise to inform the setting of a national English tariff for undergraduate medical student placements in general practice. DESIGN AND SETTING: A cost-collection survey in teaching practices across all regions of England between January 2017 and February 2017. METHOD: A cost-collection template was sent to 50 selected teaching practices across all 25 medical schools in England following the development of a cost-collection tool and an initial pilot study. Detailed guidance on completion was provided for practices. Data were analysed by the Department of Health and Social Care. RESULTS: A total of 49 practices submitted data. The mean cost per half-day student placement in general practice was 111 GBP, 95% confidence interval = 100 to 121 (146 USD), with small differences between students in different years of study. Based on 10 sessions per student per week this equated to around 1100 GBP (1460 USD) per student placement week. CONCLUSION: The costs of undergraduate placements in general practice are considerably greater than funding available at time of writing, and broadly comparable with secondary care funding in the same period. The actual cost of placing a medical student full time in general practice for a 37-week academic year is 40 700 GBP (53 640 USD) compared with the average payment rate of only 22 000 GBP (28 990 USD) per year at the time this study was undertaken.
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