Recognising your important role
Over the last few weeks at seasonal celebrations across the state and territory, I have been delighted to present awards to supervisors and practice managers and recognise their hard work and commitment to training our next generation of GPs. For most, this dedication involves personal investment of time and effort which has spanned many years (sometimes decades).
Whilst I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to publicly recognise our award winners, I am acutely aware there is a large population of unsung heroes, who have high clinical and administrative workloads, who set aside precious amounts of time to train GP registrars to become high quality GPs.
From all of us at GP Synergy, we extend our sincerest thanks to each of you for your ongoing commitment and contribution.
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 for 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. Unfortunately, like most regional training organisations around the country, parts of NSW have been impacted by this decline.
There are numerous reasons attributed to the decline, and whilst many are beyond our control, we will continue to raise these issues with those that can effect change. In the interim, in response to the decline 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 the Western areas of NSW and the New England, Northwest of NSW. 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 need.
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 you 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. I thank you for your dedication and commitment to general practice training and the care you provide to our communities.
Please take care and enjoy the upcoming holiday period. I look forward to working with you in 2020.
John Oldfield | Chief Executive Officer
We're recruiting for a new Head of Prevocational Education position
Are you passionate about education and inspiring doctors to specialise in GP? We are currently recruiting for a newly created Head of Prevocational Education position.
Our offices will be closed from 5.00 pm on Tuesday 24 December 2019 and will reopen at 9.00 am on Thursday 2 January 2020. If you need urgent assistance during this time, please contact Chief Operations Officer, Georgina van de Water.
GPRime scheduled outage
GPRime2 will be unavailable for access from 7pm AEST Friday 13 December 2019 to 8am AEST Monday 16 December 2019 due to an important upgrade. During this time, you will not be able to access resources on GPRime including eTG, AMH and SupportGPT. Please see your email on how to arrange access eTG before the blackout period.
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.
A general practice career is an exciting one. As both an active clinician, and medical educator I have the best of both worlds. This combination allows for exposure to the aspirational world of educational academia and research, grounded in the realities of both patient needs and wants, set within the financial realities and bureaucratic requirements.
In the role of MESP I provide educational support and mentoring to supervisors and I have the chance to interact with both the enthusiastic fledgling supervisors and the seasoned experienced masters of their craft. GP Synergy also provides a wide variety of resources in the supervisor toolkit, as well as webinars and static resources found on GPRime, to support supervisors in their role.
With 2020 placements being finalised and a new term about to begin, it is a time to reflect on the progress achieved in the current year and plan for the new one about to begin. One of the most important aspects of registrar education is planning. The initial orientation and planning for the term is a really great investment of time. Assessing the needs of the new registrar, outlining the strengths of the practice and identifying an appropriate schedule of learning opportunities, reflective times and assessment activities sets the tone of the term to come.
A range of assessment tools are available both in the supervisor toolkit as well as on the GPSA website. Each registrar will already have an initial assessment for you to review prior to commencing with you. This is called the Pre-Term Assessment Report and can be found on GPRime. Take time to read it, discuss its content with your registrar, and together make a learning and teaching plan for the coming term. You may wish to use the supervision and teaching plan in the toolkit to assist you in this process.
If you are faced with a challenging learning need or are unfamiliar with available resources, email the MESP in your region, with details of the concerning issue, and they will be happy to assist either by directing you to relevant resources or where needed undertake a visit to your practice for a face-to- face supervisor support session.
Dr Eszter Fenessy | Central, Eastern and South Western Sydney Medical Educator with a Supervisor Portfolio
Supervisor Toolkit tip
I recommend you read this interesting article, Assessing learning needs, found in the Planning Learning section of the supervisor toolkit, to review your approach to the start of the term:
McKimm J and Swanwick T (2009) Assessing learning needs, British Journal of Hospital Medicine, June 2009, Vol 70, No 6.
GP Synergy seasonal celebrations - award winners and photographs
In the New Year we will be introducing a new programmatic assessment program for RACGP registrars. The program includes many of our existing assessment tools, some of which will be staying the same, and some of which will be slightly modified. There will also be some new registrar assessments.
The changes will affect GP supervisors and training practices training GPT1 registrars in 2020.1 in particular. We will provide further details of the programmatic assessment program prior to the start of the 2020.1 training term.
Where do registrars go for in-consultation information, advice and assistance?
Evidence for practice – findings from the GP Synergy Research and Evaluation Unit
Impetigo is a highly contagious superficial skin infection caused by Streptococcus pyogenes or Staphylococcus aureus. It most commonly affects children aged 0–9 years. Impetigo is quite a common general practice presentation, but registrars will have had very limited exposure to managing impetigo in hospital practice. Using data recorded by registrars across five Australian states (and the ACT) during their participation in the ReCEnT project, we examined registrars’ experience of managing impetigo.
GP Synergy PD calendar
Make sure you don't miss an event or webinar by accessing the supervisor professional development calendar on our website.
External activity noticeboard
Explore a list of activities and online modules including a new guide to supporting mothers who breastfeed.
Need some help?
Find key GP Synergy contacts including Practice Liaison and Support Officers, Supervisor Liaison Officers and Medical Educators with a Supervisor Portfolio.