The Medical Council’s role in respect of medical schools within Ireland is to accredit programmes of basic medical education based on the World Federation of Medical Education 2015 Global Standards.
As part of the accreditation processes, the Council reviews how the curriculum is designed and delivered which includes ensuring the educational outcomes that students should exhibit upon graduating include; the health needs of the community, the needs of the health care delivery system and other aspects of social accountability. However, the WFME standards also state that medical schools must have institutional autonomy to design the curriculum (Standard 1.2).
The Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP) is the recognised professional body for general practice and is responsible for post graduate specialist medical education, training and research in the specialty of general practice.
The ICGP Curriculum for GP training focuses on generic learning outcomes which foster a patient centred approach to symptoms and support evidence-based practice. GP trainees are taught to respond to all clinical presentations by recognising any knowledge deficits they may have and to seek the most rigorous evidence to care for their patients. The curriculum also encourages reflection on patient communication, comprehensive care, and a holistic approach.
With regard to chronic neurological conditions, the ICGP curriculum contains a number of learning outcomes including for example eliciting patients’ concerns and expectations, demonstrating empathy, understanding the importance of continuity of care and coordinating care with other primary health professionals to enable chronic conditions management and rehabilitation.
The ICGP Curriculum does not list the many thousands of clinical conditions which a GP may encounter. It does reference the most commonly encountered conditions and also those which could lead to devastating physical consequence for patients if not diagnosed early. It also equips future GPs with the attitudes and skills to deal empathetically with all presentations.
The ICGP continues to review the Curriculum on an ongoing basis to ensure it supports the development of GPs in a manner most fit for the general demands of the Irish Health system.
The College does not have a specific educational module at present for practicing GPs on the topic of post viral fatigue syndrome. Consideration will be given to the inclusion of this as an educational topic at future ICGP national conferences/educational events.