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RCGP eLearning Podcast

The Royal College of General Practitioners is the professional membership body for family doctors in the UK and overseas. This podcast is produced by the RCGP eLearning and Essential Knowledge Update teams and features discussions with clinical experts about a range of key topics in primary care.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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EKU2019.2: Prostate Cancer Screening & the PSA Test

Prostate cancer is the commonest cancer in men and is the third commonest cause of cancer death in the UK, causing more deaths than breast cancer.  This Essential Knowledge Update (EKU2019.2) podcast discussed prostate cancer screening and the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test with Dr Sam Merriel a GP in North Somerset and a Clinical Senior Research Fellow at the University of Exeter.


28 Oct 2019

Rank #1

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EKU2019.2: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

There are approximately 1.2 million patients with COPD in the UK with 115,000 new cases each year. However most people are diagnosed in their 50’s or older and a large number remain undiagnosed. This EKU2019.2 podcast explores the symptoms, investigations, referral, treatment and management of people with COPD with Dr Steve Holmes, a GP in Somerset and Education Lead with the Primary Care Respiratory Society.


2 Dec 2019

Rank #2

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Improving your practice to be more inclusive

It is important that all patients feel welcome at their GP and survey data suggests that this is not always the case for LGBT patient. In this podcast Dr Toni Hazell and Dr Kamilla Kamaruddin discuss how you can make your practice inclusive and welcoming for LGBT patients, starting from when they walk through the door into the waiting room. They also discuss the use of pronouns for transgender patients and how GPs can be supportive of LGBT staff.  This episode was launched in January 2020.  With thanks to Dr Mike Farquhar for giving us permission to use the NHS Badge image from the @RainbowNHSBadge Twitter page.


16 Jan 2020

Rank #3

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4. Managing health anxieties regarding COVID-19

Many of our patients are very anxious at the moment; in the worst case scenario this anxiety can manifest as apparent shortness of breath and affect your clinical assessment. In this episode we discuss how to address these issues, what we can say to patients to help and the use of communication skills and empathy in these difficult consultations. This is episode 4 in a series about telephone triage during COVID-19.


3 Apr 2020

Rank #4

Most Popular Podcasts

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1. Introduction to telephone triage

This introductory episode discusses telephone triage from the perspective of a doctor who is new to it. We discuss how to set up a session of telephone triage to maximise success, how to structure and document the call and how to safety net. Some groups of patients can be particularly challenging and we talk about how to manage these challenges and how to know when triage won’t work and the patient has to be seen.  This is episode 1 in a series about telephone triage during COVID-19.


3 Apr 2020

Rank #5

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2. Refresher on how to triage

Aimed at those coming back to triage after a break, this episode discusses new technology such as video calls and techniques to get started again, such as the golden minute. We also talk about the adaptation of basic communication skills to the triage call and how to handle the patient’s ideas, concerns and expectations.  This is episode 2 in a series about telephone triage during COVID-19.


3 Apr 2020

Rank #6

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3. How to triage a potential COVID-19 case

This episode focuses specifically on triaging a patient with possible COVID-19, including a discussion about how to carry out a verbal examination and what red flags to look for. It also discusses how to assess shortness of breath on the phone, which is a particular challenge for patients who may have COVID-19.  This is episode 3 in a series about telephone triage during COVID-19.


3 Apr 2020

Rank #7

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EKU2019.3: Combined hormonal contraception

This EKU2019.3 explores the recent Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare on Combined hormonal contraception with Dr Anne Lashford, a GP in Wiltshire, Vice President of the FSRH and an Assessor for EMBRACE, which audits maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality combined hormonal contraception.


9 Mar 2020

Rank #8

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EKU2019.3: Ulcerative colitis & Crohn's disease

In the UK, there are approximately 146,000 people with a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis and at least 115,000 people with Crohn’s disease.  This EKU2019.3 podcast discusses the symptoms, causes, diagnosis and treatment of people with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease with Dr Kevin Barrett, a GP in Hertfordshire, Chair of the Primary Care Society for Gastroenterology and RCGP Crohn's and Colitis Spotlight Clinical Lead.


9 Mar 2020

Rank #9

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Coeliac disease

In this podcast, Dr Charlie Andrews, committee member of the Primary Care Society of Gastroenterology and Clinical Champion for West of England for inflammatory bowel disease, discusses various aspects of coeliac disease, from when it should be considered through to longer term management. He offers hints to diagnostic clues which should prompt testing, and guidance on the process of testing, including consuming enough gluten in the run-up to investigating. Patients need support and information once the diagnosis is made, and Charlie explains what you can do as a GP and who else may need to be involved in their ongoing care. This podcast was produced as part of the Autoimmunity Education app, which will be available on the RCGP Online Learning Environment from October 2019.


27 Sep 2019

Rank #10

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EKU2019.1: Rheumatoid arthritis in adults

There are approximately 1.5 men and 3.6 women per 10,000 people who develop rheumatoid arthritis each year.  This EKU2019.1 Podcast discusses the management of rheumatoid arthritis in adults with Dr Barbara Noble, a GP in Wolverhampton, a CSA assessor, appraiser and EKU Programme Author.


5 Jul 2019

Rank #11

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Contraception is a rapidly changing field, with new devices becoming available and new guidelines being issued. RCGP Clinical Champion for Menstrual Wellbeing, Dr Anne Connolly, talks to Dr Toni Hazell about a variety of subjects in the area of contraception. She starts by discussing emergency contraception and how to choose between the two oral methods available and then goes on to discuss the UKMEC which is the main reference guideline for contraception safety. The podcast then covers the different hormonal intrauterine systems available, contraception in the peri-menopause and the use of extended pill taking.


26 Apr 2019

Rank #12

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EKU2018.3: Abnormal liver blood tests

While deaths from other common conditions are falling, mortality from liver disease is increasing. There has been a 400% increase in deaths from liver disease between 1970-2010. This is higher in patients under the age of 65. This Essential Knowledge Update (EKU2018.3) podcast discussed the management of abnormal liver blood tests.


26 Nov 2018

Rank #13

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EKU2018.3: Heavy menstrual bleeding

Studies report that between 4-51% of women are affected by heavy periods.  This Essential Knowledge Update (EKU2018.3) podcast explores the assessment and management of heavy menstrual bleeding.


16 Nov 2018

Rank #14

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EKU2018.1: Spondyloarthritis

Axial spondyloarthritis is often misdiagnosed as mechanical back pain. There is an average delay of 8.5 years between symptom onset and diagnosis.  This Essential Knowledge Update (2018.1) podcast provides an overview of spondyloarthritis and offers information and guidance on its diagnosis, investigations and (pharmacological and non-pharmacological) management in primary care.


16 Apr 2018

Rank #15

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EKU2017.2: Asthma

5.4 million people in the UK are currently receiving treatment for asthma - 1.1 million children (1 in 11) and 4.3 million adults (1 in 12). This Essential Knowledge Update (EKU2017.2) podcast discusses the management of asthma in primary care including the criteria for assessing and diagnosing asthma in both children and adults, allergy testing, treatments (both non medication such as breathing exercises and medical treatments) and occupational asthma.


23 Aug 2017

Rank #16

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EKU2017.2: Opioid use in chronic pain

About 20% of adults have chronic non-cancer pain, and approximately 25% of those will benefit long-term from prescription opioids. This Essential Knowledge Update (EKU2017.2) podcast discusses two papers (from the European Pain Federation and the New England Journal of Medicine) with different views on the use of opioids in chronic pain and how this evidence can be translated into primary care.


27 Jul 2017

Rank #17

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EKU2017.1: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) presents as a disease spectrum. Fatty change is a common and frequently benign condition, present in 20-30% of the population and up to 90% of the morbidly obese. This Essential Knowledge Update (EKU2017.1) podcast explores the NICE guideline on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. It discusses epidemiology of the condition as well as assessment, diagnosis (including severity) and management in primary care.


24 Apr 2017

Rank #18

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EKU2017.1: Sepsis

Sepsis is responsible for 44,000 deaths per year and 150,000 hospital admissions. At present the UK mortality from sepsis is 30%. This Essential Knowledge Update (EKU2017.1) podcast highlights the definition and mortality of sepsis and provides information and guidance on the recognition, diagnosis and early management of the condition.


20 Mar 2017

Rank #19

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EKU18: Menopause

The mean age of women who have a natural menopause is 51 years, although there is wide variation between women. This Essential Knowledge Update (EKU18) podcast explores the diagnosis, treatment and management of the menopause. It also discusses the peri-menopause, primary ovarian insufficiency (POI), symptoms of the menopause and more.


31 Jan 2017

Rank #20