An update from the Head of the Practice Experience Program
Welcome to the third GP Synergy PEP newsletter!
We are excited to see PEP progress into its second year, after supporting nearly 80 participants in 2019 that were located across our subregions. This large number of participants enabled us to gain a deeper understanding of the participants’ diverse needs and experiences.
The PEP team’s commitment to providing meaningful educational support was demonstrated by the anonymous evaluation survey participants completed at the end of last year. Seventy two per cent of participants completed the survey which is considered a great response rate. We are proud to announce that 92% of our participants found their engagements with GP Synergy medical educators useful or very useful. Moreover, 86% of our participants found the workplace-based assessments (WBA) delivered by GP Synergy as useful or very useful.
At the beginning of this year, we farewelled the first group of participants who successfully completed the program. We also welcomed new intakes of participants who showed early engagement with the program.
One of the core skills we focus on in PEP is reflection on self-performance. So, we take this opportunity to reflect on our performance during the pandemic. Without a doubt, this tough time brought some anxiety and sense of vulnerability. On the other hand, it brought us closer to our participants through more frequent contacts and support. We also learnt to be more innovative in ways of delivering the program, and our participants are more comfortable using online platforms to receive education. So we all made a choice to use this crisis time as an opportunity to grow and thrive.
I hope you enjoy this update as much as I have enjoyed writing it!
Dr Rula Ali | Head of Practice Experience Program NSW & ACT
Shortly after the solid beginning of the year, we were all faced with COVID-19 and the challenges it brought both on professional and personal levels.
Although we managed to conduct many workplace direct observations in person early this year, GP Synergy had to cancel the remaining face-to-face assessments in response to COVID-19 and the associated social distance requirements. With the approval of the RACGP, we have delivered 57 direct observations virtually. In recognition that some participants might have incurred some financial loss arising from the cancellation of some assessments, we have offered to meet the cost of cancelled travel and accommodation arrangements.
Additionally, we provided our participants with more one-to-one mentoring support. We also delivered a webinar on telehealth skills and managing clinical uncertainty during this challenging time. The GP Synergy PEP team (pictured right) also ran a 'check and chat' webinar where we provided group support for those who reached out for more pastoral care.
Save the date!
Key dates to add to your 2020 educational calendar:
- 15 July – Introduction webinar
- 17 August – Preventative health with fellowship exam focus
- 16 September – Ethically challenging presentation with fellowship exam focus
- 7 October – Mental health and suicide risk, practical techniques for exam purposes.
One of the changes the RACGP introduced into PEP this year was extending the maximum time spent in the program to accommodate those who require more support.
The RACGP also introduced the program confirmation process, which aims to give participants some flexibility in choosing their own online learning units and duration of the program. This process must be completed in the first term. To initiate this process, the participants are asked to reflect on their performance in the program, their past experience and their educational needs to better formulate those choices.
Our participants responded well to this requirement, but some understandably were uncertain about making those choices so early in the program.