New knowledge for primary care: A glimpse at general practice research in Great Britain
Health Services Research
In 1948 the National Health Service in Great Britain designated primary care to be the responsibility of the general practice branch of the medical profession. This responsibility for primary care has stimulated the development of a research agenda to improve the care given to ambulatory patients. Academic units of general practice have been established in most British medical schools, and office practices are often resources for studies. The resulting studies have provided an opportunity both to describe the full spectrum of research in primary care and also to categorize it. A classification and brief description of the British experience should help primary care disciplines in the United States, especially general internal medicine, understand the potential within the field of primary care research. If primary care medicine is to reach its full potential, high priority should be given to the stimulation and development of such research efforts.