Registrar Liaison Officer update
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought major changes to general practice and training and I commend you all on your adaptability during this difficult and uncertain time.
Many of you will have transitioned partially or fully to telehealth, which is very different way of practicing and something which most of us, and often our supervisors, have had limited training in. GPRA recently held a webinar on the subject which I recommend you watch. It contains useful information and good tips to guide you how to practice safely in teleconsultations. The AGPT have advised that telehealth from home, or in practice, with appropriate supervision, will be counted towards training time.
I understand that for some registrars patient numbers have been dwindling. Clearly this is not ideal for your training and I urge you to use any additional time you find you have during the day to continue your learning. There are resources available through GPrime, and ACCRM and RACGP websites.
Remember to record any additional learning or practice that you do in your practice logs and learning planner.
Enrolment for term 2020.2 closed on Tuesday 7 April. The placement portal will open on Monday 20 April and GP Synergy will e-mail further instructions and guidance.
RACGP AKT and KFP exam results have been released and ACCRM registrars sat their MCQ in March and are awaiting results.
Unfortunately RACGP have postponed the 2020.1 OSCE, and 2020.2 written exams and OSCE. The new exam and enrolment dates are on the RACGP website, which has a guide for the COVID-19 impact on training. ACCRM exams are due to go ahead as scheduled.
As ever, if you need any help, support or advice, please contact your ME, RLO or GPRA at any time. GPRA is free to join and can give you support and advice on employment, training, wellbeing and access to exam resources. Further resources for wellbeing and support services can also be found on the GP Synergy, ACCRM and RACGP websites.
Dr Susan Roberts | RLO North Coast
We have been circulating information concerning the impact of COVID-19 on the training program. This includes FAQs and changes to our face-to-face education program.
GP Synergy supports registrars who wish to work in alternative clinical placements during the COVID-19 pandemic and there are several opportunities for registrars seeking alternate forms of employment.
GP Synergy has developed a number of remote alternatives to clinical teaching visits for registrars, these will be prioritised and rolled out over the coming months. We will be in contact with registrars and practices with updates in the coming weeks.
The Department of Health has released the Management Plan for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Populations to guide the COVID-19 response focusing on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Term placement reminder
- If you are seeking to enter a GP term in 2020.2 during the re-enrolment process you will have been asked to rank your grouping preferences. You will be notified of your allocated grouping by 5pm on 16 April.
- You will be able to apply to practices advertising training vacancies in your allocated grouping from 20 April.
RPL applications now due by 10 June 2020
Completed Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) applications are due to GP Synergy by 10 June 2020. If you are applying for RPL, make sure you start your application as soon as possible as they take considerable time to compile and review before they can be endorse and submitted to RACGP for approval.
RACGP Foundation Grants
The RACGP offers a number of competitive grants for general practice innovation or research. The closing dates for 2020 RACGP Foundation grants have been extended.
General Practice Registrar Competency Assessment Grid (GPR-CAG) – how did we get here & what further can we do?
Evidence for practice – findings from the GP Synergy Research and Evaluation Unit
GP Synergy research shows that the Competency Assessment Grid has high validity and can now be used for further assessment of registrar progress in training.
Clinical Teaching Visits (CTVs) are a major component of RTOs’ (including GP Synergy’s) Workplace Based Assessment (WBA) programs to support and formatively assess registrars’ clinical and educational progress.
Relatively few general practice WBA instruments have been psychometrically evaluated (i.e. have had their validity and reliability formally assessed). The GP Synergy Research and Evaluation Unit was tasked with evaluating the GP Registrar Competency Assessment Grid (GPR-CAG). The GPR-CAG was constructed as a CTV formative assessment instrument in 2012-2013 by a team of GP Synergy Medical Educators (via an iterative literature review, expert opinion, and pilot-testing process).
Using CTV data collected from 2014 to 2016 in GPT1 and GPT2 CTVs, we employed factor analysis and expert consensus (experienced Medical Educators) to refine the included ‘competencies’ (items that CTV visitors record regarding registrars’ performance) and to establish GPR-CAG’s internal structure.
The result was a reduction in the total number of competencies from 25 to 16 for GPT1, and from 57 to 29 for GPT2. Using factor analysis to ‘group’ individual competencies into ‘factors’, a four-factor, 16-item solution was identified for GPT1 competencies and a seven-factor 27-item solution for GPT2 competencies.
The factor structures were clinically characterisable and resonant with existing medical education competency frameworks. For example, the four factors for GPT1 could be characterized as ‘Attention to basic-level clinical professional responsibilities’; ‘Consultation techniques subserving patient-centered ‘Caring’’; ‘Proficiency in physical examination skills’; and ‘Skills in formulating and articulating coherent hypotheses and management plans’.*
We have just concluded a confirmatory factor analysis (not yet published) which has strongly supported the robust original findings.
How do we use these findings? The original GPR-CAG refinement process reduced the number of competencies considerably (and thus, decreased the burden on CTV visitors and increased comprehensibility for MEs). Having done a great deal of work establishing the GPR-CAG factor structure and its validity we can now be confident in testing potential uses – e.g. in giving focused CTV feedback to registrars, MEs and supervisors, and in providing early prediction of Fellowship exam performance – that can inform individual registrar educational strategies and learning plans. Watch this space!
*Fielding A, Canalese R, Tapley A, Mulquiney K, Klein L, Holliday E, Ball J, Magin P. A general practice workplace-based assessment instrument: Content and construct validity. 2020. Medical Teacher, 42(2): 204-212.
Special interest training
One of the great things about GP training is the ability to pursue a special interest during training. Many GPs subspecialise – in what area is pretty much up to you! The types of special interests that you can pursue as training time depends on your fellowship pathway.
During training, registrars following the RACGP Fellowship pathway undertake a six month extended skills term. This term can be undertaken in a variety of settings.
Registrars training under the ACRRM fellowship pathway are required to complete a minimum 12 month term Advanced Specialised Training (AST) term.
Meet three registrars with diverse interests
2020.1 key training dates
Stay on top of the key training dates for the 2020.1 term.
RACGP fellowship assessments
Key information for exam enrolment and exam dates can be found on the RACGP website.
ACRRM fellowship assessments
Key information for assessment support program dates can be found on the ACRRM website.