Recognising excellence in GP training
Over the last few weeks we have held seasonal celebrations in each of our eight training subregions. At these events, I have been delighted to present awards for GP education and training excellence to registrars, supervisors and practice managers. Celebrating excellence in GP training is a wonderful way to end the year and I enjoyed the opportunity to catch up with many of you who attended. A list of the award winners can be found below.
Leading into 2020, one of our highest priorities is the full implementation of the new Practice and Supervisor Quality framework. It is critical that registrars are enculturated into clinical and professional behaviours that are markers of the “good doctor”. This is more than exam performance, it is to ensure registrars have access to quality training environments that train them to scope and engage higher-level skills in general practice. It is important that general practice training promotes holistic care for the individual and an awareness of the health care needs of the surrounding community. Practices should demonstrate a quality culture that investigates its own performance in ways that translate to improvement in clinical care and general practice training. 2019 has been a transition year for this important initiative.
Application to GP training
It is with great disappointment that we end the year with a continued national decline in applications into the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program. For the 2020 intake there was an insufficient application for some rural NSW regions and a significant number of training positions remain unfilled. Other regional training organisations around the country have experienced a similar decline in application.
There are numerous reasons attributed to the decline. We are working with key stakeholders to identify and explore ways to overcome the challenges in attracting doctors into the profession. In the interim, we have established composite pathways to help bolster the shortfall of applicants in some rural areas. The first of these cohorts will be undertaking placements from metropolitan locations into Western NSW subregions and the New England/Northwest. We will continue to collect supply and demand information to make these important policy decisions to ensure a continued equitable distribution of training in support of communities of medical service.
Fire and drought
At the time of writing this article, drought and bushfires are affecting numerous communities around the country. I would like to think it’s old news by the time you read this article; that we have been greeted with a healthy dose of rain. Yet for now, I hear the many stories about how it impacts the welfare of individuals and communities.
For me, this highlights the importance of general practice and the work GPs do. At times like this those patients and communities who are trying to cope with loss, or simply can’t see a way out, often engage with primary care for support. It is during trying times such as this that the need and importance of training high-quality GPs becomes more acute.
On that note, thank you for your continued support of GP training and GP Synergy. Please take care and enjoy the upcoming holiday period. I look forward to working with you in 2020.
John Oldfield | CEO
It's been a busy year for our regional education teams, delivering education and training across our eight subregions to over 1500 registrars and more than 2000 supervisors.
In line with our commitment to regionalised education delivery, local medical education teams have delivered just under 200 face-to-face workshops stretching from Bega in the south, to Ballina in the north, to Dubbo and Wagga Wagga in the west and many other places in between.
The best way to see many of these events in action is via our image gallery.
Congratulations to our 2019 new fellows!
We extend our warmest congratulations to the 417 GP registrars that fellowed this year, 412 achieving Fellowship with Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and five achieving Fellowship with the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM).
New programmatic assessment program
In 2020, GP Synergy will be launching a new programmatic assessment program for all RACGP registrars and an integrated program for ACRRM registrars. Further details will be available in the New Year.
Drs Anne Eastwood and Melissa Joseph represented GP Synergy in Exercise BOSS LIFT, part of the Talisman Sabre 2019 bilateral military exercise, allowing them to get a taste for military life and see some of our ADF registrars in action in a mobile field hospital.
International journal paper - Ensuring the validity of workplace-based assessment tools in GP training
GP Synergy staff and collaborators are proud to have had a paper published recently in Medical Teacher (an international journal of education in the health sciences). The paper examines the content validity and internal consistency of the General Practice Registrar Competency Assessment Grid (GPR-CAG) used by GP Synergy in GP training.
Heading into its eighth year, ten new medical students will embark on the 2020 GP Synergy Medical Student Scholarship Program providing them with an opportunity to gain meaningful exposure to academic general practice.
The Western NSW, Murrumbidgee and New England/Northwest training regions offer an extensive range of training opportunities with diverse communities and fabulous facilities.
We were excited to launch our inaugural rural GP video competition this year and even more excited to announce the winning entry as Dr Rachel James, a rural generalist GP registrar in Deniliquin in the Murrumbidgee region.
Nineteen staff from Aboriginal community controlled health services are the fifth cohort to graduate from the Diploma in Practice Management for Aboriginal Medical Services developed by GP Synergy in collaboration with TAFE Digital.