Welcome to our new look stakeholder GP training update. I want to take this opportunity to express our gratitude as an organisation to our stakeholders who are supporting and providing care for our communities in such challenging times.
The nature of the environment that we find ourselves in is ever-changing; many new approaches to delivering care to patients, as well as teaching and supervision, has had to be applied. Across my 12 years in this industry, I continue to be inspired by, and in awe of, the commitment and resilience of all those who contribute to general practice.
I am fortunate to be in the position of Interim CEO at present and have taken the opportunity to meet with many of our regional partners. These discussions are to explore how we might ensure meaningful engagement continues at a local level into the future.
GP Synergy is focusing on enhancing our local partnerships across our eight subregions which we view as key to achieving successful outcomes for general practice training and local communities. To support this we are currently considering a redesign of our Regional Advisory Councils (RACs) and will be writing to our RAC members shortly to expand on this work.
Our regional teams, led by our Regional Heads of Education, are a part of the local communities in which they work and whilst they are currently working remotely, they are still delivering the program activities for both AGPT and PEP. If you need to contact any of the team members please do not hesitate to do so.
Our teams have been working hard to address any concerns raised relating to training program requirements at this time. We have benefited greatly from our strong collaborations with ACRRM and the RACGP as well as flexibility relating to the AGPT policy considerations by the Department of Health. The positive engagement with the NSW Ministry of Health, ACT Health and the PHNs have ensured we have been able to optimise the registrar involvement in the response to COVID-19.
I want to reinforce that whilst it is important that we maintain the integrity of the training program at all times, we also need to remain conscious of the disruptive nature of this pandemic. We encourage you to contact us if you have any questions and we regularly update our COVID-19 resources, more details are included in the information below.
Georgina van de Water | Interim CEO
COVID-19 GP training impact
COVID-19 is having a significant impact on many aspects of training. GP Synergy and the wider RTO network are working closely with the two colleges of general practice to respond to these changes and support registrars, supervisors and practice staff during this period of disruption. Further information is available in our regularly updated COVID-19 FAQs for registrars, supervisors and practice staff.
Education delivery changes
In the interests of the safety of our stakeholders and local communities, in early March GP Synergy paused delivery of upcoming face-to-face education activities. Through the concentrated efforts of our staff, we have been able to reschedule a number of planned activities in an online format. Please see our calendar for more information.
Alternate forms of work/training for registrars
To assist registrars whose patient loads may have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 and support health facilities on the front-line of the epidemic, we are working with the NSW Ministry, ACT Health and local Primary Healthcare Networks (PHNs) to facilitate the employment of registrars in respiratory clinics and in hospitals as part of surge planning. For further information please contact GP Synergy Director of Education and Training, Dr Vanessa Moran.
Alternatives for doctors to meet mandatory hospital terms
Due to COVID-19, some junior doctors have experienced disruptions to their hospital terms. These disruptions include rotations being cancelled or significantly changed from original plans, which may delay RACGP registrars and applicant entry into GP training terms. GP Synergy already has RACGP approval for an alternative way to meet the paediatric term requirement called the NAPPE (NSW and ACT Pre-GP Paediatric Equivalent). We are working with the RACGP on medical and surgical mandatory term alternatives which will be available shortly. Please visit our website for more information.
Congratulations to our 2020 new fellows!
Last year 424 GP Synergy registrars achieved fellowship. This year to date, 210 registrars have achieved fellowship. We warmly congratulate them on this significant achievement. There are currently over 1560 GP Synergy registrars training across NSW and ACT. Meet two of our current registrars.
General pathway registrar
Dr Emma Mason is currently completing her extended skills in sexual health at a Sydney clinic. She is enjoying learning new skills such as examination and lab testing techniques, and new conditions. She is also making a positive difference for people who may experience stigma and fear around sexual health.
Rural pathway registrar
Dr Shaun Foster has always wanted to be a family doctor. He is enjoying his training experience, finding general practice offers him the opportunity to develop lasting relationships with his patients. Shaun has also experienced a variety of medicine, allowing him to maintain his interests across many field of medicine.
Prevocational Head of Education appointment
At the start of this year we welcomed Dr Nada Andric into the newly created Head of Prevocational Education role. As part of this appointment, Nada is developing and delivering an education program primarily designed for prevocational doctors in the hospital setting. A number of educational topics have already been delivered at hospitals across NSW/ACT, many of which are being converted into an online delivery format to support remote JMO education during the COVID-19 pandemic. For further information, please contact Nada on email@example.com
Planning for the transition of management of the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program to the two colleges of general practice – RACGP and ACRRM, is continuing, with ongoing engagement and dialogue between the colleges and the RTON network. During February we met with both colleges to discuss their transition plans.
We are excited to see PEP progress into its second year. Last year we had three intakes and we supported nearly 80 participants spread across our regions. The size of our cohort enabled us to gain a deeper understanding of the diverse participants’ needs and experiences. Establishing educational and operational processes was a key focus to ensure a stable foundation for the program to start and grow.
2021 AGPT applications close 11 May 2020
If you know of any doctors interested in applying to GP training, please let them know that applications for the 2021 AGPT program close on Monday 11 May 2020. Applications can be made from the RACGP and/or ACRRM websites. Applicants can also book in a time for a one-on-one discussion or download a copy of our applicant pack for more information about training with us.
ReCEnT has gone online!
Since 2016, the ReCEnT project has analysed over 261,747 GP registrar consultations. Of these, 171,035 (65%) are from GP Synergy registrars. After a great effort by GP Synergy team members, ReCEnT has been converted to an online system for registrars to record their data. This first phase of online conversion has gone smoothly and we are looking forward to rolling out the next stages.
Grant funded projects
- 5 August 2020 - Call for GP Synergy Board nominations sent to members
- 2 September 2020 - Nominations by members close
- 9 September 2020 - Voting opens for members
- 30 September 2020 - Voting closes
- 7 October 2020 - GP Synergy Annual General Meeting
For more information, please contact Company Secretary Mr Cameron Wilson.
Meet our board
Led by GP Synergy Chair, Dr Ian Kamerman, the GP Synergy Board currently has eight directors, with a broad range of expertise and experience:
- Dr Ian Kamerman, Chair
- Dr Michael Bonning, Deputy Chair
- Mr Brett Cowling
- Dr Karen Flegg
- A/Prof Lyn Fragar AO
- Dr Elizabeth Marles
- Dr Sandra Mendel
- Dr Damon Rees
Visit our website to find out more about our directors.