Director of Education and Training update
Welcome to the new semester!
For those of you starting in your first general practice term I wish you well. The transition from hospital medicine to primary health care is a very steep learning curve and can at times be challenging. It is however equally, if not more, rewarding than the challenges you come across as you learn the ropes. General practice is just as much a team effort as working in the hospital. Your supervisor, practice nurse, practice manager and reception staff, other doctors, your fellow registrar peers and your medical educator are all integral members of your new team, make sure you get to know them – it will be a little harder due to social distancing but worth it!
Practice orientation during COVID-19
Whether you are staying in your same practice or working in a new one, make sure you start the semester with an orientation. What are the rules for COVID-19 management in the clinic? Is there telehealth? Do you need a telehealth supervision plan? Is there a respiratory clinic? Do you need to notify GP Synergy you are working in a clinic? If you are not sure, take a look at the links or talk to your medical educator – its important to get these things sorted at the start of the term.
If you are at the other end of training and madly studying for the ACRRM or RACGP assessments, all of us here at GP Synergy are here to support you and wish you the best of luck with your studies. As many of you are aware there is a new Remote Clinical Exam for the RACGP and we have been working hard to get our exam preparation series up and running to support registrars sitting that exam. This will include some introductory webinars, a follow up and finesse session after the RACGP mock and some practice RCE with the MEs as well. Please keep an eye out for the email, the calendar is now available. We have also set up an RCE page for your supervisor to use to help you study!
We also have our mock StAMPS running remotely this term just like the real thing – make sure you sign up for that too if you are sitting StAMPS in 2020.2.
What does ReCEnT tell us about telehealth?
Many thanks to all of you that participated in the ReCEnT round in 2020.1. I hope that you found reviewing your report helpful in identifying gaps in the curriculum you have missed that didn’t 'walk through the door'. We are currently reviewing the collated data to understand the overall picture of how GP training was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in the 2020.1 semester. Take a look at the telehealth article in this training update – the first of a series of reflections.
Many thanks to those of you who participated in the focus groups for programmatic assessment. We obtained some really valuable insights.
We understand that many of you, especially in GPT1, feel that you haven’t had as much feedback as you would have liked this term both in practice and with external opportunities such as CTVs. I’d like to assure you that we are getting back on track with CTV scheduling following the earlier disruption and we hope to catch up on as many as possible by the end of August. We will also be rolling on with the 2020.2 CTVs. We are encouraging supervisors to provide additional feedback to you and I also encourage you to ask your supervisor to sit in with you on a consultation or two as one of your regular teaching sessions to get additional feedback. Your supervisor can fill in a Direct Observation Teaching Session (DOTS) form found on GPRime.
We understand that you don’t feel that your training has progressed the way it usually would and you have some concerns about the mid-training review. We are aware that the changes and delays in some assessments due to COVID-19 have caused confusion and uncertainty for registrars who started their GP terms in 2020.1. The majority of the individual assessments such as competency assessments, ReCEnT, and CTVs are still a component of your training (as they have been for a long time). The due date for procedural skills has been extended and the Multi Source Feedback (MSF) and mid-training review meeting won’t go ahead in 2020.2. There will be an opportunity for you to review your progress with your medical educator around the middle of your second GP term.
The Western NSW subregion GPT1 and GPT2 registrars will be piloting our MSF process to test its logistics in 2020.2, so that we are fully prepared for a roll out in 2021. For more information on Programmatic Assessment please take a look at the article below, information on GPRime or in the registrar toolkits (available via GPRime). It is currently being updated and improved, to reflect changes due to COVID and in response to registrar feedback.
Please take care of yourselves in the coming months. The GP Synergy wellbeing support package has been extended until 31 August 2020 and we will continue to look for other ways to support your wellbeing.
Vanessa Moran | Director of Education and Training NSW and ACT
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.
The exam preparation calendar for registrars sitting Remote Clinical Exam (RCE) in 2020 is now available.
GP Synergy Strategic Plan 2020-2022
Over the past 12 months we have been developing our new strategic plan to guide the organisation from 2020 to 2022 and beyond.
The plan outlines how we can focus our energies and resources to reach our mission ‘to train highly skilled medical practitioners contributing to healthier communities’, and details how we will embrace opportunities and overcome challenges in the continued delivery of educational excellence to the benefit of communities within our training footprint.
What's new in Programmatic Assessment?
The impact of COVID-19 has meant that several components of programmatic assessment that were planned to begin in 2020 have needed to be deferred until 2021.
ReCEnT reflections - telehealth insights
Welcome to the first of our new 'ReCEnT Reflections' series. This month is the first of a four-part series sharing key insights from the 2020.1 term ReCEnT data.
2021.1 term placement dates now available
- Training Location Obligation (TLO) exemptions by COB 18 September 2020.
- Re-enrolment opens 29 September to 6 October 2020.
- Grouping allocations available 14 October 2020.
- Placements open 19 October 2020.
Important points to remember:
- To re-enrol for the 2021.1 term you must have completed all previous term practice logs and at least the first week of practice logs in the current term.
- If you wish to apply for a TLO exemption discuss your application with your medical educator and/or education coordinator prior to submission to ensure you have a complete application.
- Watch out for more information to be circulated by email.
GP Synergy Directors and team members are deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Dr Harry Nespolon. Harry had a long association with GP Synergy and GP training.
We are honoured to establish the Aunty Val Dahlstrom Award for Aboriginal Health Excellence to commemorate GP Synergy's late Aboriginal Liaison Officer, Val Dahlstrom. Nominations for the award are now open.
Do you know a registrar, supervisor, practice manager or GP Synergy staff member that you'd like to recognise for their dedication and excellence in GP training?
Nominations close 6 September 2020.
Wellbeing support - claims deadline extended
We recognise that this continues to be a difficult time for registrars who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. We have now extended the lodgement date for health and wellbeing reimbursement claims until 31 August 2020.
Also, a reminder that you can access two confidential counselling sessions through Relationships Australia in addition to counselling services provided through your college.
Please don’t hesitate to contact your medical educator if you require any assistance.
2020 Rural video competition
Lights! Camera! Action! All you need is a smartphone and a good idea to make a video that will help inspire the next generation of doctors to become rural GPs in NSW.
Entries open 17 August and close 6 October.
Meet a general pathway registrar who has gone rural
As a general pathway registrar, Claire Monaghan wanted to get some rural experience early in her GP training. Based on a friend’s recommendation, she sought out the Murrumbidgee town of Temora.
Although COVID-19 hit within a month of her arrival, she has decided to extend her training in Temora by another six months. Claire tells us why.
How often do registrars use dermoscopy for skin and pigmented lesion checks – and does it make a difference?
Evidence from the GP Synergy NSW & ACT Research and Evaluation Unit – each month we present findings from our work that may be of interest to registrars and their supervisors.
Dermoscopy has been demonstrated to improve accuracy of melanoma diagnosis by trained primary care physicians. And dermoscopy is a skill that GP registrars are expected to acquire by the end of general practice vocational training.
In a study led by academic registrar Georgie Whiting (1), and nested within the ReCEnT project, we aimed to establish prevalence of dermatoscope use by general practice registrars when performing skin and pigmented lesion checks, and to identify factors associated with dermatoscope use. We also sought to explore implications of dermatoscope use for registrars’ making skin lesion diagnoses and for their confidence in diagnosis.
During two six-monthly rounds of ReCEnT data collection we collected data on dermatoscope use by registrars during office-based consultations. Dermoscopy was used in 61% of consultations involving skin or pigmented lesion checks. Dermatoscope use changed provisional diagnosis in 22% of instances and increased diagnostic confidence in 55%. In examining the context for this use, we found 49% of registrars reported having dermoscopy training.
Dermatoscope use was more likely with the registrar being in terms 2 or 3 compared to term 1 and varied by region, but not by latitude.
We interpreted our findings as being that registrars perform dermoscopy in a modest proportion of skin and pigmented lesion checks (given that dermoscopy is considered best-practice in assessing skin lesions). We also concluded that dermoscopy is of utility, given that it influences registrars’ diagnoses and increases their confidence in their diagnoses.
(1) Whiting G, Stocks N, Tapley A, van Driel M, Holliday E, Morgan S, Henderson K, Ball J, Spike N, McArthur L, Davey A, Magin P. General practice trainees’ use of dermoscopy: prevalence, associations and influence on diagnosis and diagnostic confidence. 2019. Australian Journal of General Practice. 48(8). 547-553. doi: 10.31128/AJGP-11-18-4773
If you would like further information, please contact Parker Magin.
Do you know a doctor interested in undertaking GP training in 2021? Applications for a limited number of training places for the 2021 Australian General Practice Training program second intake with ACRRM is now open and RACGP applications will open shortly.
2020.2 key training dates
Stay on top of the key training dates for the 2021.1 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.