Consultant perception of general internal medicine: a survey of consultant physicians

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The Future Hospital Commission has highlighted the need for increased general medical skills in the medical workforce in order to meet the increasing demands on the NHS in terms of patients with increasing age, frailty and complex comorbidities. However there continues to be a lack of clarity around the concept of generalism and general internal medicine (GIM), with differing views on the physician's role in GIM. This survey sought to explore further the roles in which current physicians perceive they are practising GIM as well as views on training in GIM. The survey highlights three key points: (i) that consultant perception and practice of GIM continues to vary dependent on physician specialty; (ii) that the practice of GIM is not limited to the front door but includes the management of patients under the care of a specialty team with general medical needs, be that in an inpatient, outpatient or acute care setting; and (iii) that training in GIM needs to reflect this variation in roles and practice.

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