Challenge GP: using gamification to bring the reality and uncertainty of a duty doctor’s surgery to early year medical students

Linzi Lumsden* (Corresponding Author), Philip Cannon, Valerie Wass

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Exposing medical student cohorts to the lived reality of uncertainty and complexity experienced by GPs is challenging to achieve. We present a novel teaching concept: ‘Challenge GP’ designed for early years students. Gamification methodology is used to reproduce key elements of the ‘duty GP’ experience in a classroom setting where working in teams, students play a competitive card game. Cards drawn at random pose scenarios based on practical, logistical, and ethical dilemmas of a duty doctor surgery. Each team discusses whether to score by reporting a decision or play special cards to pass the dilemma onto, or collaborate with, another team. Answers are facilitated and scored by a GP tutor.

Student feedback demonstrated highly effective learning for clinical reasoning, risk management and problem-solving. Students were exposed to the uncertainty and complexity of real-life medicine. Gamification, through competitiveness, increased task engagement. Students learned the value of working in teams under time pressure and grew in confidence by sharing knowledge in a safe environment. Students were enabled to think, feel and practise as real-life clinicians. This became a powerful force in contextualising their theory-based knowledge, aided understanding of the GP role and opened their eyes to a possible career in general practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-108
Number of pages6
JournalEducation for Primary Care
Issue number2
Early online date30 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Open Access via the T&F Agreement
We acknowledge and are grateful to Dr Naomi Dow who led the organisation for these sessions led the organisation of these sessions. We thank all the medical students and GP tutors who were involved in these sessions, particularly those that took time out to provide us with feedback after the sessions.


  • medical education
  • primary care
  • transformational learning
  • gamification
  • game based learning
  • uncertainty


Dive into the research topics of 'Challenge GP: using gamification to bring the reality and uncertainty of a duty doctor’s surgery to early year medical students'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this