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InnovAiT: Education and inspiration for general practice

Richard Draper is the Executive Editor of InnovAiT, a GP Trainer and Senior Partner at Oxshott Medical Practice, Oxshott, Surrey.

Despite many years as a GP Trainer, I confess to having been unfamiliar with InnovAiT until just before my application for the Editor’s post back in 2016. InnovAiT has been sent out to Associates in Training (AiTs) since January 2008, but a succession of registrars managed to keep this open secret from me. Such a shame because I need all the help I can get. Their secret is now out and distinctly unsafe with me. It’s a secret I am keen to share.

Discovery of this journal has been a revelation, and being Editor has only reinforced my appreciation of both concept and content. I discovered a treasure trove of articles to inform clinical practice, teaching, career opportunities, material for tutorials and more besides. I was surprised that so many colleagues, particularly those involved in training, were like me, unaware of the journal’s existence. I was mystified by this prevailing ignorance of InnovAiT but impressed by enthusiastic feedback from novice readers and conspiratorial registrars alike.

…. a treasure trove of articles to inform clinical practice, teaching, career opportunities … tutorials and more besides.

Minutes from the 2007 inaugural meeting of the InnovAiT Editorial Board at Princes Gate, chaired by Professor David Haslam, detail the defining vision of a new, high quality educational journal focusing on AiTs, owned by AiTs and special to them with a ‘wow’ factor encouraging readers to tear open the wrapping and read the journal. Well, that won’t happen! Sustainability and environmental impact are the order of the day. It still has the ‘wow’ factor but is now an online entity; just a flurry of clicks away from what we hope is a similar revelatory experience.

We can confirm all RCGP members now have the benefit of access to all issues of InnovAiT online. I heartily recommend that you delve into a trove of articles offering education and inspiration. I hope you will be inspired to get involved and write something for the education, if not edification of your colleagues, young and old. Encourage your registrars to submit articles, learn about publication and share content for clinical management, teaching and tutorials. Reader engagement with the journal has helped to improve the quality and relevance of content.

InnovAiT has continued to thrive and evolve, responding to many factors that influence the influx of articles and the enthusiasm to share knowledge from our authors, new and experienced. Authors strive to make sense of the complexity and the myriad of varied subjects that fill the working world of expert generalists.

The inauguration of InnovAiT envisaged that the curriculum would shape content over a 3-year cycle of subject matter; until recently articles were prefaced by extracts from relevant sections of the curriculum. The new curriculum is less prescriptive, less constraining and journal content is more relevant to everyday practice with useful advice for new and experienced GPs. There has been a steady rise in high quality submissions. These come from well-known, experienced authors and from novice authors supported by the journal’s buddy system. The journal metrics show a big increase in online access and downloads that reflect the quality of content and relevance to the readership.

Journal content is … relevant to everyday practice with useful advice for new and experienced GPs.


I encourage you to start looking at InnovAiT now. Access is easy: log onto MyRCGP (https://www.rcgp.org.uk/my-rcgp.aspx) using your member credentials and click on the InnovAiT button. Explore the content for use in your clinical practice and in your learning and teaching.

I encourage you to write for InnovAiT. Request author instructions and suggest ideas for articles at editorialoffice@innovaitjournal.co.uk . If you need a title, we can suggest some. Submit articles short or feature length to mc.manuscriptcentral.com/innovait. We are very keen to receive more articles from GP Trainers. Further information is also available at: https://journals.sagepub.com/pb-assets/cmscontent/INO/N7JA676%20-%20INO%20Flyer_web.pdf

I hope we can unite the vibrancy of youth with the wisdom of age and experience on the pages of InnovAiT. It isn’t always easy. There is the risk of miscommunication between the old and the young, a mismatch of culture, different interests and memories. I recently left my registrar looking suitably bemused by my account of an initiative to commission articles citing the recent editorial: What can general practice learn from football? “I’m Editor of InnovAiT trying to promote the journal and commission articles; some colleagues look confused. Are they mystified by my pitch? They think it’s all over. It is now.”

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