Director of Education and Training update
Welcome to the start of the 2020 training term that began on 3 February 2020.
The beginning of 2020 has reminded all of us of the importance of general practice and primary health care. My deepest sympathies for those of you that have been personally impacted by the ongoing drought, and recent bushfires and floods. I feel that we have all been affected in some way.
I’d like to thank those of you that have not only managed to keep on top of this for yourselves and your communities, but also for the support you have given your registrars during this time as well. Those of us in primary care are well aware that this is only the beginning and there is great need for ongoing support over the coming months and years.
We have partnered with NSW RDN and a number of organisations in the ‘Natural Disaster and Emergency Primary Health Workforce Response’ if you need help or would like to volunteer please visit the website for more information. If you are a supervisor or practice that needs a break and you have active registrar, please get in contact with your Regional Head of Education or Practice Liaison Support Officer as soon as possible so we can work with you to support your registrar.
GP Synergy is pleased to launch Programmatic Assessment (PA) for registrars starting in their first GP term in 2020.1. PA is an integrated approach to assessment for learning.
The role of PA is to promote the importance of learning through activities that are meaningful and relevant to the learner, with regular feedback, as this is the best method for learning that lasts. PA provides a more comprehensive review of the learner’s abilities and enables focus on areas of learning need. Exams form part of programmatic assessment, but measure only particular competencies, demonstrated in particular contexts, on a particular day. The Australian Medical Council (AMC) standards for accreditation of specialist medical programs recommend a programmatic approach where multiple measures of trainees' knowledge, skills and professional qualities are aggregated and synthesised over time to inform progress.
You will have received an email on 29 January 2020 with a summary of the changes that are relevant to you. Please take a look at the resource attached to the email as well as the additional information available on the Programmatic Assessment page on GPRime.
Supervisor Development 2020
Dr Sarah Gani (Director of Supervisor Education) and the MESP team have worked hard to develop another excellent supervisor education program this year. The two key topic areas this year which will be delivered regionally include ‘”What’s going on in there?”: Consultation analysis and assessment’ and ‘Boundaries, buddies and billing: Teaching and learning’.
The annual Supervisor Development Day will again be held at the Sydney International Convention Centre on 27 June 2020, this highly evaluated professional development day will offer a number of streams of education to meet differing supervisor needs.
Can’t make it to a face-to-face? We always prefer to see you in person, but if you are unable to make a face-to-face session take a look at the webinar series which has a number of useful sessions including more information about programmatic assessment.
The GP Synergy Supervisor Professional Development Calendar can be found here.
I hope you have an enjoyable 2020 and please don’t hesitate to contact us. There is a list of the support staff available at the end of this training update.
Dr Vanessa Moran | Director of Education and Training NSW & ACT
Supervisor payment rate increase
In recognition of the key role of supervisors in GP training, we are pleased to advise the rate of payment for supervisors will be increased from $140.34/hr to $145.00/hr from the start of the 2020.1 term on 3/2/2020. This increased rate applies to the following supervisor payments:
- supervisor workshop/webinar attendance
- teaching allowance in GPT/PRRT 1 and 2 terms which includes formative assessments conducted as part of set-aside formal teaching
- competency assessments in GPT/PRRT 3 and extended skills in GP/PRRT4 terms.
New term reminders and programmatic assessment changes
At the start of every new training term there are a number of important activities for supervisors and practice staff, such as:
- Orientate the registrar into the practice
- Review the registrar's Pre-Term Assessment Report (PTAR)
- Directly observe the registrar consulting using the Initial Observation Session form – this is now mandatory
- Discuss your registrar’s learning needs/learning plan and develop your supervision plan (including high-risk presentations) with the registrar.
With the introduction of the new programmatic assessment program, the requirement to undertake direct observation of all registrars in the first four weeks is now a mandatory requirement. This replaces the first competency assessment.
The Supervision Requirements at a Glance cheat sheet has been updated to reflect the new programmatic assessment program. We encourage all supervisors and practice managers to review this document as it provides a succinct overview of the supervision requirements over a six month (26 week) training term, with links to many useful resources.
The 2020 GP Synergy Practice Manager Workshop will be a great opportunity to network with your peers, be updated on the latest improvements in GP training and to access professional development specifically designed for practice managers involved in training registrars
2020.1 Supervisor PD calendar
Our supervisor workshops and webinars are outlined in our supervisor professional development calendar. The 2020 calendar is available now.
Happy New Year to you all and welcome to the first MESP update for 2020. I hope that everyone managed to have some time off over the Christmas period and have metaphorically recharged their batteries for the new training year.
That said, it has been a difficult time to switch off and relax. Like everyone else in Australia, and increasingly around the world, I have spent the past couple of months in horrified disbelief at the scale of the bushfire emergency in south-east Australia.
I am aware that many of you will have been directly impacted by the fires. GP Synergy and the MESP team wish to support affected practices, supervisors and registrars as fully as possible, and Dr Vanessa Moran has elaborated on this in her update. I would wish to emphasise that if a supervisor needs a period of leave, to please get in contact with us ASAP through your PLSO or call directly on 1300 477 963.
By now, most of you will be familiar with the Supervisor Toolkit, and hopefully, utilising the resources in your teaching role. We are currently in the process of reviewing the toolkit, with a focus on improving navigation, updating resources and adding important new content.
One of the newly developed toolkit pages is on doctor health and wellbeing. GP Synergy recognises that there are multiple stressors on the physical and psychological health of GPs, including the critical and complex nature of the work, managing uncertainty and time pressures. Undertaking the role of GP supervisor may place an additional burden on the already busy GP.
It is also well known that the wellbeing of GP registrars is particularly vulnerable. The stresses of clinical practice can be further impacted by their relative inexperience, pressures of exam preparation and dislocation from family and friends.
We thus believe that it is a core role of the supervisor to appraise and support the wellbeing of both themselves and their registrar and therefore have a wide range of resources available for this purpose. Please review the wellbeing and support page on the GP Synergy website at Wellbeing and Support.
The MESP team have developed the 2020 educational continuing professional development (EdCPD) program for supervisors. This includes the two ‘core topic’ workshops -Topic 1 - “What’s going on in there?”: Consultation analysis and assessment, and Topic 2 - “Boundaries, buddies and billing”: Teaching and learning professionalism, reflective practice and self-care. And a reminder to save the date for the annual Supervisor Professional Development Day, scheduled for Saturday 27th June. I would encourage you all to have a look at the 2020 workshop and webinar programs found in our calendar.
Again, Happy New Year and best wishes for a fulfilling 2020
Dr Simon Morgan | Senior Medical Educator
How do registrars and supervisors utilise delayed prescribing of antibiotics?
Evidence for practice – findings from the GP Synergy Research and Evaluation Unit
Levels of antibiotic prescribing in Australia for acute self-limiting respiratory tract infections (ARTIs – such as URTIs, acute bronchitis, sore throat, otitis media) are problematic. While Australian registrars prescribe antibiotics for ARTIs somewhat less than established GPs, the rates of prescription are still higher than international benchmarks. Antibiotics have little or no efficacy in these conditions, and unnecessary use contributes to antibiotic resistance. Delayed prescribing (where patients are instructed not to fill scripts immediately) has been shown to reduce antibiotic use.
PEP assessors needed!
The RACGP’s Practice Experience Program (PEP) is a self-directed education program designed to support non-vocationally registered (non-VR) doctors on their journey to RACGP Fellowship.
The role of the PEP assessor is to undertake clinical assessments that are integral to the program. If you're a supervisor in the NSW Southern Highlands, Murrumbidgee, New England or Mid North West regions and you're keen to be a clinical assessor please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 1300 477 963.
2020 GPTEC call for abstracts
The theme of this year's General Practice Education and Training Conference is 'Our evolving horizons'. Held in Darwin 8- 10 September, online abstract submissions are due by 2 March 2020. GP Synergy will support supervisors and registrars who have an abstract accepted to attend the conference.
Vale Aunty Val Dahlstrom
Aunty Val Dahlstrom, recipient of the 2019 Dr Jeremy Bunker Outstanding Achievement Award, unfortunately passed away on 21 December 2019 in Moree. Aunty Val was GP Synergy's Aboriginal Liaison Officer until June 2019 when she made the decision to retire.
Medcast Hot Topics
In addition to the GP Synergy education program, you may be interested in attending activities delivered by other providers. The External activity noticeboard button at the bottom of this page will take you to upcoming events.
These include Medcast Hot Topics GP Updates that will be held in Sydney 22 February and Newcastle 2 May. GP SYnergy supervisors can use the promotional code ‘HOTSYN' to access the update for $300.
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.
Need some help?
Find key GP Synergy contacts including Practice Liaison and Support Officers, Supervisor Liaison Officers and Medical Educators with a Supervisor Portfolio.