Shoulder pain is the third most common musculoskeletal reason for patients to attend their GP (after back and neck pain). It is particularly prevalent in certain occupational groups and is a common workers compensation presentation. Chronic shoulder pain can cause severe disability, particularly in the elderly. There is evidence that GPs are uncertain in the diagnosis and management of shoulder pain, leading to a high rate of unnecessary imaging – this is likely to be even more so in GP registrars. A careful and systematic approach to diagnosis and management is therefore important.