Learning is something we do both actively, through dedicated studying and reflection, and subconsciously, through day-to-day experiences and encountering new challenges. Continuing professional development (CPD) is an important part of the revalidation process for GPs. The Royal College of General Practitioners advises that: ‘the aim is to demonstrate a balance of learning across the curriculum relevant to your scope of work over the five-year revalidation cycle.’ For those working in primary care, the scope for learning is very broad and can perhaps sometimes feel overwhelming.

One of the ways in which we aim to support you with your learning is through our Test and reflect modules. These modules are written by expert healthcare professionals alongside their articles and take the form of multiple-choice questions (MCQs) or patient scenarios.

Our MCQ modules are designed to help you test your knowledge and understanding after reading an article in Guidelines in Practice. Much like our articles, many of our MCQ modules relate to new and updated clinical guidance, so they will help you to stay on top of recent changes to recommendations, as well as contributing towards your CPD.

Our patient scenarios are fictitious case studies that are similar to those experienced by real patients and are designed to help you to reflect on what you have learnt after reading an article. These consist of a brief outline of the patient’s clinical history, followed by some questions to prompt reflection, and details of the suggested management of the patient—there are no right or wrong answers, just suggestions for management and pitfalls to avoid. You can access all of these modules online at: ginp.co.uk/guidelines-learning

This issue of Guidelines in Practice has three MCQ modules accompanying articles on a range of clinical topics so that you can update your knowledge in the following areas:

  • Dr Rachel Pryke summarises the advice presented in a consensus algorithm for the management of obesity in primary care. Dr Pryke explains how to broach conversations about obesity, why it is important to adopt a health-centred approach, and when referral to dietetic or weight management services is appropriate. Use the MCQs to test your knowledge after reading the article
  • Professor David Halpin highlights the key updates in the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease 2021 strategy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including some small but important updates to recommendations on the diagnosis, assessment, and management of people with COPD, and a new chapter on COPD and COVID-19. After reading the article, test your updated knowledge using the MCQs
  • Dr Toni Hazell shares top tips for the diagnosis and management of cow’s milk protein allergy in children. Dr Hazell describes how cow’s milk allergy typically presents, how to take a good clinical history, and when allergy testing is required. Assess what you have learnt using the MCQs after you have read the article.

Also in this issue, Dr Gail Haddock discusses new recommendations from the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network on the diagnosis and management of suspected bacterial lower urinary tract infection in adult women. The article covers when urine testing is required for a diagnosis, the roles of non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs and antimicrobial agents as treatment options, and the practical implications of implementing the recommendations. Why not jot down your reflections on what you have learnt from this article using the reflective template? 

Finally, in the View from the ground, Dr Vasumathy Sivarajasingam writes about seven daily habits that can help with sustaining wellbeing. One of these habits is: ‘Learn something new every day. This will help our brains to grow and develop—examples include picking up a new skill, finding out new information, or even learning about ourselves.’ Setting aside some dedicated time for learning each day is important because learning is intrinsic to both our personal and professional lives. 


1. Royal College of General Practitioners website. Continuing professional development.www.rcgp.org.uk/training-exams/practice/revalidation/mythbusters-appraisal-and-revalidation/continuing-professional-development.aspx (accessed 16 February 2021).