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A number of workshops lasting approximately 1 hr 15 mins are planned for the afternoon session. Details of these can be found below:


1. Future roles for the Primary Care Case Report details

2. Preparing primary care for research in the post-genome era. details

3. Authenticity in teacher training: the use of simulated students. details
4. Introduction to Qualitative Research
(please note this workshop requires prior registration). details



WORKSHOP 1- Future roles for the Primary Care Case Report

Drs J. Moran and M. Kelly,

Department of General Practice,University College, Cork.

Distillery House,

North Mall,




Number of participants: 20 maximum


Duration: 75 mins


Format: Interactive small group type workshop.  Open to all members of the primary care team.  Presenters will describe their experiences of writing up case reports


Background: Multiple changes are occurring in general practice at present.  Personal, long-term care delivered by the same GP over many years is being replaced by community-based multidisciplinary team care.  Simultaneously, evidence-based medicine has established itself in every-day practice.  The randomised-controlled trial, aggregated data, clinical practice guidelines and powerful generalisations, derived from multiple sources, now inform everyday clinical practice.  The integrity of the bio psychosocial, patient-cantered model of care, a core value of general practice, may feel threatened by these changes.  Another core value, the GPs comprehensive clinical experience and discipline-unique method of problem solving may also feel undervalued or threatened. We suggest that GPs and the other members of the primary health care team need to begin to redress this situation.  Our proposed solution is to re-visit, develop and modify the classical case report format and use this revised research methodology to describe both the process and content of our everyday clinical encounters.


Anticipated Outcomes: Participants will be introduced to the various types of case reports and their possible uses, both as research and teaching tools.  Ideas to further develop this methodolgy will be identified and discussed.  At the conclusion of the workshop participants should in a position to identify relevant material from within their own clinical practices / teams. We propose to form a web-based group of interested people to help share, write up and publish these cases in the primary care literature.

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WORKSHOP 2- Preparing primary care for research in the post-genome era.

Susan Smith and Tom O’Dowd,

Department of Public Health and Primary Care,Trinity College, Dublin.

Number of participants: 12


Duration: 75 mins


Format: Interactive small group type workshop.  Open to all members of the primary care team.  Presenters will describe their experiences of writing up case reports


Background: Translational research is defined as research that bridges the gap between basic science discoveries and their effective application to patients in clinical practice. The Academy of Medical Sciences has expressed concern that we are unprepared for the impact that molecular medicine will make on primary care (2003). Modern thinkers on general practice research see the need for an extended knowledge base so that “we can bridge the gap between evidence and practice” (Lancet 18.10.03 ).That primary care has few boundaries is both a strength and a weakness. It has become open to many interpretations and research in primary care internationally now incorporates health services research, inequalities, economics, diagnostics and therapeutics. Primary care research in Ireland has been predominantly descriptive to date and has been  closely aligned with service provision and  driven by service needs for planning, assessment and evaluation. Indeed, the “linkage and exchange” between health services researchers and those who can use their findings is seen as a cost-effective way forward.  (BMJ 6.12.03). To address the challenges of translational research in Irish primary care we need to move to more experimental methodologies and focus our limited resources on research that will have international generalisability. This will require a significant change in direction, new questions, new skills and new alliances.To facilitate discussion, the authors will present a brief case study of their experience of researching innovations in primary care diabetes in Ireland over the last five years.



Anticipated Outcomes:

The workshop will address the following issues:

  1. Defining good questions from within primary care
  2. The development of new areas for research in primary care
  3. Building alliances in the academic sector
  4. What new skills are needed in primary care research

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WORKSHOP 3 Authenticity in teacher training: the use of simulated students

Dr. Peter Cantillon,

Department of General Practice,

Clinical Science Institute,

National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland.

Tel. 353-91-750470

Fax 353-91-750559



Background: The use of simulated patients is a well established method of teaching and assessment in health professional education.  The rationale for using trained patients is the increased authenticity that they bring to the simulated clinical encounter.  Authenticity is important because a) there is good evidence to show that learners are better at storing and retrieving knowledge if it is learnt in a relevant context and b) it is more appropriate to assess competence (formatively or summatively) in a situation which resembles the context in which the competence is to be used1.


Whilst patient simulations have grown in popularity as a teaching method for undergraduates and postgraduate students, there have been few descriptions of student simulations being used in the development and training of teachers. We propose that student simulations can provide a feasible means of delivering more realistic training opportunities for teachers in the health professions.


Methods: This workshop will:

1.      Demonstrate the use of  the five step micro-skills2 model for ambulatory teaching in clinical settings

2.      Use medical students as simulated students to provide participants with experience and feedback on their use of the five step micro-skills model

3.      Explore the feasibility of employing students as aides in teacher development.


Number of Participants: 10-15     


Duration:                      75 minutes



1.      Schuwirth LWT, Van Der Vleuten CPM, The Use of Simulations in Assessment. Medical Education 2003;37(suppl. 1):65-71

2.      Neher JO, Gordon KC, Meyer B, Stevens N, A five-step “micro-skills” model of clinical teaching. Journal of the American Board of Family practice. 1992;5:419-24
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WORKSHOP 4 Introduction to Qualitative Research


Facilitator: Dr Mairead Corrigan

Department of General Practice,

Queen's University Belfast.



This workshop is designed to introduce primary care researchers to the methods, methodology and theories of qualitative research.
Those wishing to participate in this workshop are requested to pre-register for the workshop by sending an e-mail to by Friday 20th February 2004 as participants are required to analyse qualitative data prior to the conference for discussion in the workshop. Maximum number of participants 15. 


Topics explored through discussion and small group activities will include:

Number of Participants: 15     


Duration:                      75 minutes

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