If you’re a regular at your local GP clinic you may have noticed a new doctor available to see patients.
It’s possible that this new doctor might be one of the new cohort of GP registrars that has started their GP training in the North Coast region.
“GP registrars are fully qualified doctors training to specialise as a GP,” Clinical Associate Professor Rashmi Sharma OAM, GP Synergy’s Regional Head of Education North Coast said.
“They undertake their training in accredited general practices overseen by GP supervisors who ensure they get the best on-the-job training possible,” she said.
To further refine their skills in supervising the up-and-coming GPs, last weekend 30 local GP supervisors gathered in Ballina for an intensive professional development workshop hosted by local general practice training provider, GP Synergy.
The large gathering reflects the commitment of local GPs to make sure the region is well placed to attract and keep the next generation of GPs.
GPs came from local practices across the North Coast including Ballina, Coffs Harbour, Murwillumbah and Casino.
One of the GPs in attendance was Dr Tony Lembke – a GP supervisor at the Alstonville Clinic where three registrars are currently training. According to Dr Lembke maintaining a strong network of accredited GP supervisors across the region is important for meeting current and future workforce needs.
“Local GPs being involved in training is a way to ensure that new GPs come and work in our communities. Mentoring new GPs is a two-way process – we also learn so much from them,” Dr Lembke said.
Assoc Prof Sharma said that in her experience, if registrars, and their families, enjoy their time in a community the chances of them staying for the longer term is greater.
“So, we want to ensure that registrars and supervisors on the North Coast receive the support they need so that GPs who are starting their careers are drawn to this part of the world,” Assoc Prof Sharma said.