A cost–benefit analysis of teaching in private general practice

January 01, 0001

A cost-benefit analysis of teaching in private general practice

The aim of this study by researchers from Australia was to identify the financial costs and benefits associated with teaching in private general practice. It was across three levels of training — undergraduate medical training, prevocational training and general practice vocational training — using data from a 2007 survey of general practitioners in South Australia.

They found that the net financial outcome of teaching varied across the training levels. Practices incurred a net financial cost from teaching medical students that was statistically significantly different from zero. With respect to vocational training and teaching junior doctors, there were small net financial benefits to practices, although the mean estimates were not statistically significantly different from zero.

The researchers concluded: "This study shows a net financial cost for practices teaching medical students, while at the prevocational and vocational training levels, adequate levels of subsidies and income generated by the trainees help offset the costs of teaching. Our results suggest that a review of subsidies for undergraduate teaching is necessary, particularly as the demand for teaching practices will increase substantially over the next 5 years."

This is important, as more teaching is expect to occur in the community setting with family physicians.

For the full abstract, click here.

MJA 193(10):608-613, 15 November 2010
© The Medical Journal of Australia 2010
To teach or not to teach? A cost-benefit analysis of teaching in private general practice. Caroline O Laurence, Linda E Black, Jonathan Karnon and Nancy E Briggs. Correspondence to Caroline Laurence: caroline.laurence@adelaide.edu.au

Category: PT. Professional Training. Keywords: teaching, private, general practice, cost-benefit analysis, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Stephen Wilkinson, Melbourne, Australia. Posted on Global Family Doctor 3 December 2010

Pearls are an independent product of the Cochrane primary care group and are meant for educational use and not to guide clinical care.