A postal survey of 500 general practitioners (GPs) in south-west England was undertaken to evaluate the levels of undergraduate and postgraduate otolaryngology training and/or experience received by GPs in that area. Most GPs had received two weeks of undergraduate training in ENT, which had involved no formal assessment. Three-quarters of GPs considered this inadequate. A quarter of GPs had completed a hospital post in ENT prior to entering general practice, most of which lasted three months. Sixty-one per cent of GPs had received some formal postgraduate training in ENT, in the form of courses, lectures or hospital training sessions. Almost half of the GPs considered this inadequate. Seventy-five per cent of GPs stated they would like further training in ENT. Subjective estimates of referral rates to hospital ENT specialist clinics varied considerably.
This study illustrates the variability and level of dissatisfaction regarding ENT training amongst GPs at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.