About the 3CGP Project

The importance of being different is that we can lead the way.

Ian R. McWhinney (1926-2012) – Prof of Family medicine

The acronym 3CGP signifies “Core Concept Classification in General Practice Family Medicine.” 3CGP is a classification system consisting of two parts: International Classification of Primary Care Version 2 (ICPC-2) and Q-Codes. The initial aim of 3CGP is to index grey literature, e.g., GP/FM congress abstracts, posters, and other presentations, with appropriate and specific descriptors. ICPC-2 and Q-Codes together contain less than 1000 descriptors specific to GP/FM.

The categories of ICPC-2 include 750 descriptors representing clinical symptoms, processes, and diagnoses. In the 3CGP project these categories and their descriptors support the process of indexing the clinical concepts of the GP/FM congress communications. To facilitate this task, ICPC-2 is available in 19 languages on the HeTOP web page (www.hetop.eu), which are accessible after obtaining a free subscription. ICPC-2 is also available in several languages through the web site of the Wonca International Classification Committee www.ph3c.org


Q-Codes, the second part of 3CGP, describe the non-clinical activities of GPs. These non-clinical activities include, but are not limited to, quality, continuity, and medical ethics issues.

The list of concept gathered in the Q-Codes list is not exhaustive of the reality of GP/FM. There are themes encountered in the abstracts presented by GPs during a sample of congresses. This list would have to be updated by the analysis of abstracts of further congresses. In this sense, the Q-Codes are an evolutionary product.

Access to the Core Content Classification in General Practice i.e. Q-Codes and ICPC-2  is free on the HeTOP server