Veen M, Snijders-Blok B, Bareman F, Bueving H. Experiential learning during general practice education and training. Huisarts Wet 2015;58(1):6-10. Background: To gain insight into the background and development of experience-sharing during general practice training, from a historical perspective. Method: The literature was searched and members of staff who were involved in the development of experiential learning were interviewed. Results: The motivation to incorporate experiential learning in general practice education and training is a consequence of the social and educational context of the 1970s. Training not only focuses on the medical aspects of general practice but especially on the doctor–patient relationship and the role of the doctor’s personality in this. Experiential learning formed the basis of the educational programme, in which emphasis was on the freedom of trainee doctors to structure their own education. Experiential learning enabled students to share their experiences and to learn from each other and formed the basis of education and training on refresher days. The Balint method was a source of inspiration for GPs in the 1970s and served as model for the introduction of experiential learning and the involvement of behavioural scientists. After the undergraduate phase of training, experiential learning was expected to bring about a change of culture and contribute to general practice medicine as ’continuous, integral, and personalized care’. Nowadays, the content of refresher days is established in advance and the function of experience-sharing as the source of the educational programme on refresher days has elapsed. The aim of cultural changes is also no longer relevant. However, the goal that general practice trainees share experiences and support each other is still very relevant. Conclusion: The essence of experiential learning has not changed over the years, but its place in the medical curriculum has. It no longer forms the basis of medical education but is part of the educational programme. Nowadays, emphasis is more on structure and content.
Huisarts en Wetenschap
Department of General Practice

Veen, M, Snijders Blok, B, Bareman, F.P, & Bueving, H.J. (2015). Experiential learning during general practice education and training. Huisarts en Wetenschap, 58(1), 6–10. Retrieved from