Background: Standards for undergraduate medical education in the UK, published in Tomorrow's Doctors, include the criterion 'everyone involved in educating medical students will be appropriately selected, trained, supported and appraised'.
Aims: To establish how new general practice (GP) community teachers of medical students are selected, initially trained and assessed by UK medical schools and establish the extent to which Tomorrow's Doctors standards are being met.
Method: A mixed-methods study with questionnaire data collected from 24 lead GPs at UK medical schools, 23 new GP teachers from two medical schools plus a semi-structured telephone interview with two GP leads. Quantitative data were analysed descriptively and qualitative data were analysed informed by framework analysis. Results: GP teachers' selection is non-standardised. One hundred per cent of GP leads provide initial training courses for new GP teachers; 50% are mandatory. The content and length of courses varies. All GP leads use student feedback to assess teaching, but other required methods (peer review and patient feedback) are not universally used.
Conclusions: To meet General Medical Council standards, medical schools need to include equality and diversity in initial training and use more than one method to assess new GP teachers. Wider debate about the selection, training and assessment of new GP teachers is needed to agree minimum standards.