Educational Planner

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The Educational PlannerTraditional medical teaching tends to be reductive in nature – any curriculum, used on its own, will reinforce this tendency.

This planner was devised to counteract this and to provide a framework within which any chosen subject could be explored.

The planner consists of a series of questions, not all of which will be appropriate to every topic and, if applied systematically, little of importance will be left out. The words on the right-hand side of the planner merely act as a quick reference guide to the contents of each section.

Questions Key concepts
The historical context
Is this a new issue?
What is the national picture and incidence?
What factors have caused change?
What changes have and will occur?
changing pattern
Pathological? Sociological?
Do we need to discuss this?
Patient care
Is the problem fully assessed in physical, psychological and social terms? problem assessment
Are the patient’s perceptions and anxieties explored ? patient’s beliefs
What are the effects on the family, friends and society? effects on others
What are the problems with selective history taking?
selective physical examination?
selective investigations?
selectivityclinical diagnosis
How will emergency care be affected by competence and facilities? emergency care
Does patient management involve surgery, drugs, psychotherapy, nursing or anything else?
What are the problems with these areas of patient management?
patient management
Is the family involved? patient’s family
How can the team help? team support
Should the problem be followed up? If so, how?
Is there a place for health education, screening, case finding, or any other preventive activity? education & prevention
How can we monitor the care we are giving? audit
What are the legal, contractual and insurance considerations? obligations 
What are the ethical considerations? ethics
With whom do we need to communicate?
Do any special skills need to be learned?
consultation skills
Where and how do we communicate? settings
Will any changes occur in relationships between the patient, the doctor, and the team? practice team
Are meetings necessary and who should facilitate them? meetings
How do patients acquire responsibility for their own management? patient responsibility
Is there a role for support groups? support groups
Should there be a protocol and what should be in it? protocol
What is the responsibility of each team member?
Where are the lines of accountability?
What equipment and facilities are necessary? equipment & facilities
Will change affect people, affect time, affect finances, affect systems? change
personnel management
What recording system is needed? How do we protect confidentiality? records & confidentiality
Is the organisation acceptable to the patient? acceptability
Is time and its management a problem for anyone? time management
How do patients obtain access? access
Professional values  
What are the implications of our attitudes, prejudices and values?
How do material and psychological rewards affect our behaviour?
Are there cultural, racial and sexual considerations?
How do we respect patient dignity and confidentiality? patient respect
Do we monitor and protect our own physical and mental health? health
How do we support other members of the team? support
How do we demonstrate that we accept responsibility? responsibility
Personal and professional growth  
Can the doctor identify her own strengths, weaknesses and emotional needs?
How does she cope with her own anxieties?
Does she seek peer review?
Does she improve performance by assessment?
Does she support the educational and personal needs of those around her?
seeking excellence
Does she accept change? accepting change


Source: RCGP Occasional paper