On July 29-30, the 2023 Global Forum of General Practice Education & Primary Care Development and Annual Conference of the University Group of General Practice Education in China, hosted by the University Group of General Practice Education in China (CUGGPE) and organized by Wenzhou Medical University, were held in Wenzhou, Zhejiang. Over 200 domestic and international experts, scholars, and university group representatives in general practice education gathered to exchange ideas from perspectives of university training and grassroots utilization. The event broadened new horizons and provided fresh insights for advancing primary general practice education.
Lin Huiqing, director of the Medical Education Expert Committee of the Ministry of Education, vice president of the China Association of Higher Education, and former Vice Minister of Education, and Qi Xuejin, vice president of the Chinese Medical Doctor Association, delivered speeches online. Lyu Yijun, secretary of the Party Committee of Wenzhou Medical University, presided over the opening ceremony, and Li Xiaokun, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and president of Wenzhou Medical University, delivered a welcome speech.
Lin Huiqing pointed out that cultivating general practitioners who focus on both prevention and treatment is a significant embodiment of the implementation of talent cultivation for primary care in the new medicine era. Faced with the new requirements for innovative development in medical education and the new demands for primary healthcare services in the new era, all universities serving as the main platforms for cultivating general practice talents should translate policies aimed at advancing talent cultivation reforms and improving incentive mechanisms into concrete actions, thus providing stronger support for the construction of a Healthy China.
On behalf of the Chinese Medical Doctor Association, Qi Xuejin congratulated the convening of the forum. In the face of the new demands from the people for medical services in the new era, he hoped that CUGGPE could focus on three aspects: optimizing the content of talent cultivation, enhancing competency for grassroots positions, and innovating the governance system of medical teams. By doing so, CUGGPE can improve the cultivation of general practice talents, strengthen the ranks of grassroots general practitioners, and provide new insights for the development of primary healthcare services.
Lyu Yijun stated that medical education is a crucial cornerstone of the development of healthcare, and achieving modernization in healthcare is both a rightful necessity and an inevitable requirement for realizing Chinese modernization. Over the past three years, under the support of CUGGPE, all universities have actively engaged in the reform and practice of cultivating general practice talents, resulting in a series of outstanding educational achievements. In the new era and journey ahead, Wenzhou Medical University and other universities of CUGGPE will join hands to transform the significant mission of serving the health of the people into a powerful driving force for advancing the cultivation of general practice talents and make greater contributions to China’s development of education and the construction of a "Healthy China".
Li Xiaokun said that this forum focused on the reform and development of general practice education and injected new vitality into the reform and innovation of medical education in the new era. He encouraged universities of CUGGPE to actively explore new paths for the development of general practice education in China through innovating work mechanisms, promoting disciplinary development, and enhancing win-win cooperation, and build CUGGPE into a high-level innovative community that closely follows the requirements of the "Healthy China" initiative, promotes high-quality development of its member institutions, and serves the needs of grassroots medical talents. He also stated that efforts should be made to advance innovative talent cultivation models and accelerate the application and commercialization of research outcomes.
Representatives and experts from six universities delivered academic reports and lectures on the theme "High-Quality General Practice Education in the Future" at the conference.
Wang Ling, director of the Institute of Medical Education and dean of Keqing Academy at Fudan University, delivered a speech titled "Subject Construction and Development of General Practice in the New Era". She elaborated on the new standards and requirements set by the country for GP training in the context of the new era. She also shared Fudan University's experiences and practices in various aspects, including comprehensive reform in clinical medical education, exploration and innovation in the GP training system, as well as research and innovative practices in medical postgraduate education reform.
Geoff Riley, Emeritus Professor of General Practice at the University of Western Australia, delivered a keynote speech titled "Training a New Generation of General Practitioners" from the perspective of innovations in medical education. He highlighted that a "general practitioner" is a specialist in "Generalism". He introduced the Australian education and training system for general practitioners and the innovative practices at the Rural Clinical School of the University of Western Australia.
Cai Jianhui, president of Jilin Medical University, delivered a keynote speech titled "Exploration and Practice of Cultivating Medical Talents in General Practice". Taking Jilin Medical University's GP training model as an example, he introduced the university's exploration and practice in cultivating capable and reliable grassroots healthcare professionals who are willing to serve the community, and shared experiences and practices in student cultivation, education, and teaching.
Lu Xiaoqin, secretary of the Party committee of School of General Practice and Continuing Education at Capital Medical University, shared insights on "Faculty Building of General Practice”. She explained the development and current status of general practice in China, reflected on the construction of the general practice faculty team in the new era, and proposed that "if the faculty members are good enough at innovation and teaching, the trained general practitioners will undoubtedly satisfy patients."
Yu Rongbin, director of the Academic Affairs Office at Nanjing Medical University, delivered a keynote speech titled "The Practice of Cultivating Medical Talents in General Practice with Integration of Treatment and Prevention under the Background of One Health". He emphasized the strong demand of the era for general practitioners who can provide comprehensive medical services covering the full lifecycle. He introduced Nanjing Medical University's exploration and practice in cultivating versatile and application-oriented community-level healthcare professionals. The university has formed a “Six-Pronged” training approach which focuses on humanistic values, clinical needs, general practice, theoretical knowledge, technical skills, and practical application.
Zhu Xuebo, vice president and director of the Academic Affairs Office at Wenzhou Medical University, gave a speech titled "Paths and Implications of High-Quality Training of Primary General Practitioners in the New Era". She emphasized that in the new era, the cultivation of general practitioners must shift its focus from scale expansion to quality improvement. Drawing on WMU’s two decades of practice in the reform of primary general practitioner cultivation, she proposed that high-quality cultivation of general practitioners requires efforts in three aspects: strengthening discipline construction, focusing on quality enhancement, and refining policies and mechanisms.
In the sub-forums held in the afternoon, esteemed experts and scholars including Emeritus Professor Leon Piterman at Monash University, Vice President Hu Bingjie at Guangzhou Medical University, and Professor Yang Hui from the School of Medicine at Monash University engaged in discussions and exchanges. They approached topics of the cultivation and recruitment of general practitioners from the perspectives of universities and at the community level.
It is reported that on the work conference of the 10th-anniversary of the National Rural-Oriented Medical Student Training in 2020, 113 universities initiated the establishment of the "University Group of General Practice Education in China”. Wenzhou Medical University was elected as the chair unit. As the earliest institution in Zhejiang province to provide undergraduate rural-oriented medical training, Wenzhou Medical University has developed a unique “Wenzhou Mode” for cultivating grassroots general practitioners through two decades of exploration and practice, which promotes "unified provincial enrollment and examination under national standards, and county hospital management of general practitioners working for rural grassroots medical institutions".
Wenzhou Medical University is a significant base for medical talent cultivation in Zhejiang province. The university has undertaken the training task for primary healthcare personnel at the undergraduate level in Zhejiang province since 2010. Over the past years, it has recruited more than 6,000 rural-oriented medical students from over 70 counties (cities, districts) across the province for five programs, namely clinical medicine, stomatology, traditional Chinese medicine, anesthesiology, and nursing. Over 3,000 graduates have taken roots in remote islands and grassroots communities to serve as primary doctors.
Text translated by Hong Yanggang and reviewed by Sun You.