Regional Head of Education update
At this time of the year exams are the focus for many registrars. Some of you are waiting for OSCE results; some finalising study for the July written exams and others still planning how to start a preparation program for the exams in 2020.
Although they are the big hurdle, exams are not the only assessments that matter.
Just as important is assessment throughout training that aims to help you improve, rather than act as a barrier.
How do you know how you’re going in your development as a general practitioner? What tells you that you are performing at a reasonable level and how do you know what you need to improve?
Of course, you judge for yourself based on signals like your level of discomfort in the consultation; outcomes in the patients you are managing; how late you run; and what you hear from you peers.
But you also need information from external sources if you’re going to know the full extent of what needs improving and how to do it.
It is worth remembering that a good GP needs to be competent not just in terms of applied clinical knowledge. You also need to be good at communication, interpersonal and consulting skills. You need to be competent in all aspects of professionalism and you need a range of organisational skills and abilities.
No one assessment, including the big exams, can look adequately at all these dimensions. A range of methods is required. To be useful for you they need to happen from the start of your training right through to the end. They also need to be purely aimed at improvement and not be pass or fail. In other words, these are formative assessments – or assessments for learning.
Over the next 12 months a coordinated approach, called programmatic assessment (PA), will be introduced with the aim of achieving all these things.
You already experience many of the components of PA: the pre-GP assessment (PGA); the Term 2 quiz; mock exams; and the competency assessment from your supervisor and clinical teaching visitors.
New assessments to be introduced include structured direct observations; a procedural log; random case analysis; feedback from patients, practice managers and practice nurses; and GPSynergy staff feedback on engagement with administrative requirements.
Together, these elements will provide you, your supervisor and your medical educator with information that will help guide what areas of becoming a GP you are doing well with and what things need improving. This will then help direct what learning you need to do.
The aim is for this process to be useful to you, not onerous. Beyond just being good at passing exams, the goal is for you to become good at everything a GP needs to be.
Dr Tony Saltis | Regional Head of Education Hunter, New England and Central Coast
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.