A lot of progress has taken place in understanding the role better in terms of it being a non-treating role. Osteopaths are recognised to have good clinical skills. However, the gap that remains for many is understanding the role in context.
As an FCP you have the option of requesting imaging and blood tests, alongside referring into community or secondary care. It is important to have an understanding of when and how these tests might be utilised. Much of this information is available from NICE guidelines and clinical knowledge summaries.
An example of this is for Rheumatoid Arthritis:
If you are suspecting RA – what clinical tests might you do and at what stage would you refer? The NICE guidelines make this clear. If there is persistent synovitis, small joints of hands or feet are affected and more than one joint is affected, or there has been a delay of 3 months or more from symptom onset they should be referred urgently to Rheumatology. Investigations should not delay referral. Blood tests for rheumatoid factor in adults with synovitis, anti-CCP can be measures if RF is negative. X-ray the hands and feet with suspected RA and persistent synovitis.
You should have an awareness of some of the key NICE guidelines prior to interview – back pain, RA, AxSpa and have an understanding of how FCP fits into the pathway.
FCPs are placed within Primary care as MSK specialists. It is for the practitioner to do their own assessment and form their own clinical reasoning and shared decision making with the patient to find the right pathway for that patient. GPs will often make suggestions about imaging or pathways for patients but the decision must be based on your own clinical reasoning and knowledge alongside the patients values and preferences.
I hope these tips will help you in preparation for an FCP interview.