Regional Head of Education update
Crazy Socks for Docs Day is the first Friday of June. This day is all about raising awareness of the mental health of all doctors and health practitioners around the world.
Do you know how this day was started?
Dr Geoff Toogood, a Melbourne cardiologist, experienced both depression and anxiety. He felt stigma and discrimination at many levels. One day, when Geoff was well, he wore odd socks to work. He heard whispered conversations in his trail throughout the day. People concerned that he was unaware of his sock choice. Others concerned for his apparently deteriorating mental health. However, the truth was something much simpler. His new puppy had chewed all his other socks and these last two mismatched socks were all he had left to wear.
The experience of this day lead to Geoff starting Crazy Socks for Docs Day, as an attempt to address the stigma and to make it ok for a Doctor not to be ok.
How are you going?
In the world of GP training, there are many pressures on registrars. Pressure to perform, to earn adequate income, to succeed in exams, to always be fresh and ready for the next patient to walk in the door, to adapt to change, to be up to date in your knowledge, to balance family and work, to ask for help appropriately, and so the list could go on…
‘Patients deserve a well doctor’. This statement made me really consider my own health. What am I doing to ensure I attend work in a manner in which I can perform at my best and provide my patients with the best care that I can offer them? Have I thought about getting adequate sleep, exercising regularly, dealing with any emotional distress from the previous day, eaten an adequate breakfast? And what about if I am unwell? I’m sure we have all experienced days when we pushed through, ‘soldiered on’ despite ill health. I recall as an intern, having two wisdom teeth removed at the dentist and an hour later, I was on ward rounds with gauze stuffed in the back of my mouth! Certainly, less than ideal!
As we enter winter and deal with the flu season, I encourage you to show yourself some self-care. Self-care refers to activities undertaken with the intention of restoring health, reducing stress and enhancing a sense of well-being. There are many ways to do this and self-care is something that can be personalized for every individual.
If you would like some ideas, you could check out the RACGP’s Self-Care and Mental Health Resources for General Practitioners.
Dr Catherine Casey | Regional Head of Education Nepean, Western and Northern Sydney
Medicare provider number reminder
Deadline for 2019.2 Medicare paperwork:
The deadline to submit an application for Medicare provider numbers for the 2019.2 term is Friday 21 June. All Medicare initial provider number applications and other Medicare paperwork need to be sent directly to Medicare (not GP Synergy).
Medicare provider number check:
Once you have received your Medicare provider number, you must check your letter to confirm you have been issued with a provider number with full billing rights before you commence billing patients. Registrars with refer and request rights will only be able to refer patients and request investigations, until a provider number with full billing rights is received.
2019.2 term dates:
5 Aug 2019 – 2 Feb 2020
What's it like being a rural generalist?
Procedural GP registrar Dr Uri Harrington, and his supervisor Dr David Harwood, had very different journeys to becoming rural GPs.
Both now enjoy living and working in the Western NSW town of Parkes - Uri as a GP Anaesthetist and David as a GP Anaesthetist and Obstetrician.
Clinical pearl: All that wheezes is not asthma!
According to ReCEnT, of the many consultations GP registrars see in practice a significant portion of these are children aged 10 years or younger. Of these consultations approximately 3.4% involve a new presentation of wheeze, asthma or bronchitis/bronchiolitis-like illness.
Asthma is identified as a National Health Priority illness, however in these consultations it is also important to consider other less common but significant diagnoses such as an inhaled foreign body or a cardiac issue.
Suspect inhalation of a foreign body if the wheeze is asymmetrical or unilateral. Or if there has been a history of an episode of choking while feeding or playing.
Suspect a cardiac issue if the patient has associated symptoms and signs associated with heart failure, such as failure to thrive, or difficulty or diaphoresis with feeding, or hepatosplenomegaly (in infants and younger children), or swelling in their legs and/or abdomen or weight gain from fluid retention.
2019.2 key training dates
Stay on top of the key training dates for the 2019.2 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.