Open Access Research article

Knowledge assessment of trainees and trainers in general practice in a neighboring country. Making a case for international collaboration

Roy Remmen12*, Johan Wens12, Annelies Damen12, Herman Duesman3 and Veronique Verhoeven1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Primary and Interdisciplinary Care, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Antwerp, Campus Drie Eiken, Building R, room 3.27, Antwerp, Belgium

2 Interuniversity Center for Training in General Practice, Leuven, Belgium

3 Institute for Education Training and Evaluation in General Practice, Utrecht, The Netherlands

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BMC Family Practice 2012, 13:103  doi:10.1186/1471-2296-13-103

Published: 15 October 2012



In Europe, a comparable scope of training in GP can be observed especially in the field of knowledge. This feasibility study determines if a knowledge test is suitable in the context of a neighboring country.


A Dutch knowledge multiple choice test was used after validation of its content in Flanders (Belgium) in the academic year 2010–2011. Satisfaction with the test format was assessed. The test was taken by general practice trainees and trainers. Group scores of trainees in year 1, 2 and 3 and their trainers were compared to Dutch participants as a control group.


80 percent of the items in the Dutch test were transferable to Flanders (Belgium). Flemish participants (Belgium) liked the test format. The scores of all Belgian participants groups were lower than the Dutch participants.


The results among 1278 participants show that the use of the Dutch knowledge multiple-choice test is feasible in a neighboring country. At present, the individual scores can not be used for high stake decisions for trainees in Flanders (Belgium). If countries collaborate in the area of assessing GPs trainees, there would be an economical benefit due to increased efficiency. It would also lead to greater international integration of the discipline.

General practice/family medicine; Quality; Postgraduate training; Guidelines; International