Pursuit of excellence, not merely competence

This revelation – which no doubt other readers experienced long ago – arrived last month while I was developing a new university course in clinical teaching. Its assessments have to show that our graduates are competent teachers. “Competent?” I thought. “All the doctors I know want to be excellent at everything they do, not just competent!”

It was a rare moment of insight. The current push towards competency-based GP training (which has been on the government’s agenda for more than a decade) completely misses the point about how doctors work. Nobody wants to be just OK; nobody