Scottish Doctor and GMC Tomorrow’s Doctors Cross-referencing Project
The cross-referencing exercise follows the publication of the ‘Scottish Doctor, undergraduate learning outcomes“ (March 2000) prepared by the Scottish Deans’ Medical Education Group (SDMEG) and the General Medical Council’s (GMC) recommendations about undergraduate medical education in ‘Tomorrow’s Doctors’ (2002).
Whilst both documents describe undergraduate medical education, they do so from different perspectives. The GMC’s recommendations are set out as a structured syllabus, with recommendations and principals about teaching, learning and assessment, together with reference to the statutory framework and responsibilities that UK schools have in respect to delivering medical education. The “Scottish Doctor” sets out to establish a consensus about the learning outcomes for undergraduate medical education in the five Scottish Schools, and to agree a common framework or cataloguing process. These were revised and augmented by a review of assessments used in the Scottish Schools in the document published in May 2003.
Neither “Tomorrow’s Doctors” (TD) or “The Scottish Doctor” (SD) advocates a particular curriculum format or structure; indeed the variance of curricular styles has been celebrated as a richness and strength within the Scottish medical community. However, both documents encompass the totality of what a doctor should be at the point of graduation, and may be interpreted as a foundation for quality assurance, and issues associated with curriculum development.
The exercise in cross-referencing was undertaken between 2004 and 2005 and these pages will describe the process, findings and observations of this process.
Reasons for cross-referencing
Each School has a curriculum based on the recommendations in “Tomorrow’s Doctors” and takes into account it’s own strengths and philosophy. The “Scottish Doctor” represents a consensus of the qualities that Scottish Schools believe a doctor should have at the point of graduation.
Cross-referencing SD and TD is required for a number of reasons:
A quality assurance process to ensure TD is fully covered by SD so that a school can demonstrate how it responds to the GMC’s recommendations.
A quality assurance process to test the completeness, focus and semantics of both TD and SD as descriptions in their own right. In the absence of such a process one or other system can easily be assumed to be a definitive document.
The wider benefits are seen to be:
A mechanism upon which to attach further information, which might include “where and how” learning outcomes are delivered in a curriculum, together with descriptors of resources, including materials that might be shared.
A mechanism for curriculum analysis and development. Medical education is constantly evolving in response to developments in medicine and healthcare. Curriculum managers and developers can establish pathways for responding to such changes, which may be important for a single school, or mutually important for all five schools.
Scottish Doctor Outcomes Browser
Tomorrows Doctors 2 Outcomes Browser
TD 09-SD Mapper
Download the SDMEG Tomorrows Doctors Implementation Workshops Powerpoint (6th May 2010, PPT format, 4.6MB)