The Hunter region is well placed to attract and keep the next generation of GPs, with more than 60 local general practitioners taking a day out from their practices to improve their skills in training GP registrars.
The GPs – from Terrigal to Taree, and inland to Scone – met in Newcastle yesterday for an intensive professional development workshop run by local GP training provider, GP Synergy.
“GP registrars are fully qualified doctors who undertake another three to four years specialised training to become a GP. They undertake this training across a variety of different settings, but mostly it’s on-the-job training supervised by an accredited local GP,” Dr Tony Saltis, GP Synergy’s Regional Head of Education Hunter, New England and Central Coast said.
One of the GPs in attendance was Dr Mark Peterson, a GP supervisor at the Bonnells Bay Surgery where two GP registrars are currently training.
Dr Peterson’s long-term commitment and enthusiasm for training registrars was acknowledged when he was named last year’s GP Synergy GP Supervisor of the Year for the Hunter, Manning and Central Coast.
“We enjoy passing on our skills, and putting yourself through the learning and teaching process is also rewarding.
“Obviously, succession is an issue for many practices and that is also part of our motivation – we can’t live forever!
“Supporting new doctors is particularly important in smaller communities, who rely on attracting skilled professionals through the lifestyle and being part of a community,” Dr Peterson said.
Dr Saltis agrees.
“If registrars enjoy their time in a community the chances of them staying for the longer term is greater.
“GP Synergy recognises this and are committed to ensuring that registrars and supervisors receive the support they need.”
There are nearly 190 registrars training in accredited general practices throughout the Hunter, Manning and Central Coast training subregion.