medical schools council


UK medical schools launch Virtual Primary Care to enhance GP teaching


Over thirty medical schools from across the UK and Ireland have combined forces to create Virtual Primary Care (VPC), a new digital learning resource designed to enhance GP teaching, which launches today.

Virtual Primary Care makes complete and authentic primary care consultations available for use in UK undergraduate medical education. Filmed by the award winning TV production company Knickerbockerglory, producers of the documentary GPs: Behind Closed Doors, the consultations have been specifically selected, produced and edited for training purposes. Every consultation has been tagged for clinical and educational content and is accompanied by associated learning and discussion points as well as additional learning resources.

The resource was developed in response to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the provision of primary care teaching within UK medical schools. The project idea originated from the School of Medicine at the University of Leeds following specific student feedback and was made possible through the collaboration of multiple partners and medical schools.

The material provided is adaptable to individual medical school curricula and has been mapped to the General Medical Council’s Outcomes for Graduates. VPC’s educational content was developed by undergraduate teaching leads at UK medical schools, with editorial work led by Dr Jane Kirby from the University of Leeds and Professor Joe Rosenthal from University College London.

Commenting on Virtual Primary Care, Professor Joe Rosenthal and Dr Jane Kirby said: 

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to share these professionally recorded, real-world primary care consultations, now adapted and presented specifically for teaching purposes. Enormous thanks to MSC, SAPC and everyone who has supported this initiative, which we feel sure will benefit medical students in all our schools.”

Dr Katie Petty-Saphon, Chief Executive of the Medical Schools Council, said:

“Continuing medical education during the Covid-19 pandemic is critical in ensuring that our medical students practise safely as doctors when they graduate. Given the extraordinary challenges medical schools face, it is heartening to see how they have come together to pool their experience and knowledge for the benefit of all medical students. Our particular thanks must go to undergraduate GP teaching leads throughout the UK and Ireland for their support in quality assuring the resource and preparing the educational programme.”

Virtual Primary Care is not available in the public domain. Use of the resource will be provided to all UK medical schools as part of their membership of the Medical Schools Council. For more information on VPC, please see

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