Regional Head of Education update
I have been reflecting on the past six months in general practice and the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our lives. In these uncertain times, with so many changes, I recognise the challenges that COVID-19 may have generated for you educationally, clinically and on a personal level.
Clinically, you have had to learn to rapidly adapt to telehealth consultations. Educationally, you have needed to embrace a change in the delivery of education to more online formats. From a training perspective, you are facing a change in the format of assessment for fellowship.
The normal pressures of GP training and the pathway to fellowship have been heightened by COVID-19, this can mean additional strain may be placed on you and it may mean a time of increased vulnerability as well.
On a personal level, it has arguably never been more important to ensure that we are looking after ourselves, ensuring self-care, so that we can continue to care for ourselves, our families and our communities.
It is critical, at this time more than ever, to keep in touch with your medical educator – you are not alone in facing the many challenges that COVID-19 may have created for you. As your RTO, we are tirelessly working to guarantee timely information to lessen uncertainty and we are acutely aware that you may need additional support at this time. We also appreciate that the support required may be quite diverse and individualised.
Lastly, I would like to thank you for the contribution that you are making to general practice and patients, especially in these unprecedented times. Please ensure that you are mindful of your own self-care so that you may then continue to have the capacity to care for others. I would encourage you to consider reviewing the available resources and services:
- RACGP Self-Care and Mental Health Resources for General Practitioners
- ACRRM Health & Well-being Support
- GP Synergy Well-being support for GP registrars.
Dr Donna Quinn | Regional Head of Education New England and Northwest
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.