CAPC Festival of Teaching



by Dr Simon Thornton, GP and GP Engagement Lead, Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol and Professor Trevor Thompson, GP and Head of Primary Care Teaching, Centre for Academic Primary Care, University of Bristol

The Centre for Academic Primary Care (CAPC) at the University of Bristol is a leading centre for primary care teaching and research based in Bristol Medical School. In April 2022, we held an inaugural Festival of Teaching at Bristol Zoo, to celebrate the skill and commitment of GP teachers, who are helping develop the primary care workforce of the future.

The day started with an introduction to teaching for the coming (2022/23) academic year from the teaching team. If you’re interested in teaching medical students and haven’t seen it already, do take a look at our Teaching Brochure that gives you all the information you need about teaching next year.

This was followed by some ‘educational speed dating’ which included exploring why we teach (see the word cloud below).

We are fortunate to be part of a leading centre for primary care research (one of nine NIHR funded research centres in the UK), so were delighted to be joined by our distinguished colleague, Professor Matthew Ridd, to hear about his latest research findings on childhood eczema.

In a ‘Teaching Dilemmas’ session, we used interactive theatre to explore difficult scenarios of concerns raised about a patient’s behaviour, a GP’s behaviour and a student’s behaviour.

During lunch we had the opportunity to look around the zoo, followed by an entertaining talk by Dr Phil Hammond, ‘The art of living when you know you’re going to die’.

Head of Teaching, Professor Trevor Thompson, then gave us his survival strategies for busy GPs including the ‘4s of fitness’: Strength, Suppleness, Stability and Stamina.

We were given an update on Dr Jessica Watson’s research looking at the communication of test results with patients. This was followed by a discussion of the big issues facing CAPC Teaching over the next five years and what areas we should aim to prioritise. Areas identified included:

  • developing the role of allied health professionals in teaching
  • involving GP trainees more in teaching, aiming for smaller group sizes
  • prioritising face-to-face teaching
  • considering creative solutions to a lack of physical space
  • how we might be able to better involve locums in delivering teaching.

We are proud to be part of such a wonderful GP teaching community that delivers the highest standards of teaching to our students. For information about how to become a GP teacher, visit our website or contact us at email

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