Regional Head of Education update
I have written about the weather or natural disaster events affecting our lives on the North Coast in the past, but this time we are all immersed in the world that is COVID - 19. In a matter of weeks our lives were turned upside down, and while we are definitely living in the lucky country, there have been challenges for us all.
As GP registrars, I understand the enormous pressure that this quick change in our practice environments has brought about. Delivering high quality care to patients, adapting to new modes of delivering health care that your supervisors are also learning too, trying to maintain income with reduced numbers is not easy. As GPs we have been nimble to adapt and innovate in relation to this new norm and navigate the mine field of information coming our way from various sources, for which we should be proud.
At GP Synergy we are mindful of the extraordinary stress that this situation has caused and we are striving to make the delivery of training as smooth and safe as possible whilst there are other competing priorities for you to manage.
Please use this time as a learning experience of how your chosen profession can rise to the occasion and play its pivotal role in the community. Remember to be in touch with your medical educator if you have any issues – there is a lot going on right now, which can be overwhelming, and so we will try and help to the best of our best ability, acknowledging that much is out of our control at GP Synergy.
Steps that we have taken include
- transition to a webinar format for all our face-to-face workshops, which has included an altered timetable to try and reduce the impact on your time out of practice
- development and approval of a remote telehealth supervision model
- development and approval of a remote clinical teaching visit model
- COVID -19 debrief sessions for registrars and supervisors
- regular COVID-19 related FAQs which are available in GPrime
- ongoing support for COVID-19 related leave and extensions of training
- facilitation of registrars being able to participate in COVID -19 related clinical work as part of their training if possible.
Work continues daily to adapt and refine our processes to assist you to achieve high quality training, while complying with requirements set by the colleges. To that end we request that all ‘in practice requirements’ – protected teaching time , competency assessments etc be undertaken, albeit in a COVID-19 fashion – now more than ever, we need evidence of you participating in adequate training to fulfill college requirements.
We are trying our hardest at GP Synergy to support you through this time. We may not get it right first time, so please do let us know where there is room for improvement.
Most of all, a big thank you to all of you for patience and positive mindset during this time – your enthusiasm and innovation have been invaluable to your supervisors and practices (speaking from my personal experience as well). We will try our best to support you all to ensure you continue to receive the excellent training that you have enjoyed.
Clinical Associate Professor Rashmi Sharma OAM | Regional Head of Education 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.
Medicare provider number reminder
Deadline for 2020.2 Medicare paperwork:
The deadline to submit an application for Medicare provider numbers for the 2020.2 term is Friday 19 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.
2020.2 term dates:
3 Aug 2020 – 31 Jan 2021
ACRRM registrar toolkit now available!
The new toolkit will assist ACRRM registrars navigate through their rural generalist training. It contains useful information and resources for any stage of training.
We recommend visiting the toolkit to browse through it and become familiar with what is available, then returning throughout training when there is the need for specific information.
Access to the toolkit is via the top menu on the GPRime dashboard.
Nominations for college awards are now open, if you know a registrar, supervisor or practice that is making a significant difference consider sharing their achievements by nominating them in one of the award categories.
Wellbeing support for registrars
We recognise this is a difficult time for registrars who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. As we continue to work with our partners on the broader issues, we are offering the following supports for all registrars:
- Confidential counselling sessions you can now access two confidential counselling sessions through Relationships Australia. This is in addition to counselling services provided through your college.
- Health and well-being reimbursement of up to $200 for any health and well-being program/s or any educational or training resource/s which will help at this time. We're pleased that registrars have already started to take up this offer.
Also visit our website for additional well-being resources, and please don’t hesitate to contact your medical educator if you require any assistance.
CTVs are now being delivered remotely
Thank you for your patience over the last couple of months while we have been working on the move to remote Clinical Teaching Visits (CTVs). With the first remote CTVs having been successfully undertaken we are moving forward with booking in outstanding CTVs for registrars.
Please check your email regularly for notification of an upcoming CTV and respond within a day or two. As we are nearing the end of the term it is important we schedule in as many CTVs as possible and your prompt reply will help us achieve that.
GP Synergy has made the decision that all CTVs will be delivered remotely for the rest of the 2020.1 term across all of NSW and ACT. The resumption of face-to-face CTVs will be reviewed and considered for the 2020.2 term. As it is important that registrars continue with training requirements during this time, we ask and thank you for your cooperation with these visits. If your practice has individual circumstances that might make a remote CTV difficult to arrange, and you have not already contacted us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2021 NSW Rural Generalist Medical Training Program applications opening soon!
Applications with HETI for the NSW Rural Generalist Medical Training Program will open 23 Jul 2020 and close 16 Aug 2020.
The program provides a supported training pathway for junior doctors wishing to pursue a career as a rural general practitioner with an advanced skill who provides primary care in a community general practice setting as well as advanced services and/or procedural skills within a rural hospital.
Successful trainees exit with a Fellowship with either RACGP/Fellowship of Advanced Rural Practice (FARGP) or ACRRM and qualifications in at least one advanced skill.
Contact our Special Education Programs Manager, Felicity Gemmell-Smith, if you'd like to find out more about available opportunities.
Join our Rural generalist webinar on 1 July 7.30pm to hear hear from GP Synergy, HETI and current procedural trainees about what its like to train as a rural generalist, how you join the program and what supports are available to you while you are on the program.
Meet three rural generalists
General Practice registrars’ experience of antenatal care
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.
GPs play a vital part in diagnosis and ongoing management of pregnancies in Australia. Some GP registrars entering GP training may have had no post‐graduate experience in obstetrics and gynaecology. Working with an academic GP registrar from General Practice Training Queensland/The University of Queensland, we aimed to use ReCEnT data to determine the prevalence and associations of Australian GP registrars’ clinical consultations involving antenatal care.1
We found that antenatal care comprised 1.1% of registrar problems/diagnoses. Registrars seeing pregnancy‐related presentations were more likely to be female, in term three, younger, and to have post‐graduate qualifications in obstetrics and gynaecology. They were also more likely to be practising in lower socioeconomic areas
Patients presenting for pregnancy-related consultations were more likely to be from a non‐English speaking background.
Pregnancy‐related consultations were, on average, of longer duration than other consultation.
Registrars were less likely to generate learning goals in pregnancy-related consultations.
The findings tell us that GP registrars see fewer antenatal problems compared to established GPs. Male registrars, especially, have significantly less exposure to antenatal care, suggesting potential limitation of opportunity to gain skills and experience in antenatal care. There may be scope to increase overall registrar exposure to antenatal care experience and to address the gender imbalance via structural measures in practices’ patient appointment systems or via alternative education, for example, programs providing experience as supernumeraries in obstetrics clinics, or completion of antenatal shared care courses.
GP Synergy registrars will cover antenatal care in their education program. Most HealthPathways have excellent guidelines on antenatal care and protocols in the local area. The Department of Health also has an excellent resource Clinical Practice Guidelines: Pregnancy care.
1Pappalardo E, Magin P, Tapley A, Davey A, Holliday E, Ball J, Spike N, FitzGerald K, Morgan S, van Driel M. General practice registrars’ experience of antenatal care – prevalence and associations: a cross-sectional analysis. 2020. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 60(2): 188-295. DOI: 10.1111/ajo.13042
The paper abstract can be found at Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
If you would like to discuss or read the full-text article, contact Parker Magin.
2020.1 key training dates
Stay on top of the key training dates for the 2020.1 term.