Regional Head of Education update
I have written about the weather or natural disasters event affecting our lives on the North Coast in the past, but this time we are all immersed in the world that is COVID - 19. In a matter of weeks our lives were turned upside down, and while we are definitely living in the lucky country, there have been challenges for us all.
As GP supervisors and practice owners, I understand the enormous pressure that this quick change in our practice environments has brought about. Delivering high quality care to patients, support and mentoring of our registrars, and trying to remain viable with reduced numbers, is not easy. As GPs, we have been nimble to adapt and innovate in relation to this new norm and navigate the mine field of information coming our way from various sources for which we should be proud.
At GP Synergy we are mindful of the extraordinary stress that this situation has caused and we are striving to make the delivery of training as smooth and safe as possible whilst there are other competing priorities for you to manage.
Steps that we have taken include
- transition to a webinar format for all our face-to-face workshops, which has included an altered timetable to try and reduce the impact on practices
- development and approval of a remote telehealth supervision model
- development and approval of a remote clinical teaching visit model for our trainees
- COVID -19 debrief sessions for registrars and supervisors
- regular COVID-19 related FAQs which are available in GPrime
- ongoing support of registrars for COVID-19 related leave and extensions of training
- facilitation of registrars being able to participate in COVID -19 related clinical work as part of their training if possible.
Work continues daily to adapt and refine our processes to assist you to deliver your high-quality training, while complying with requirements set by the colleges. To that end we request that all in practice requirements – protected teaching time , competency assessments etc be undertaken, albeit in a COVID-19 fashion – the registrars need more now than ever, evidence of participating in adequate training to fulfill college requirements .
We are trying our hardest at GP Synergy to support you and your practices through this time – as a practice owner and supervisor I feedback what it’s like at the coalface right now when processes are being developed. We may not get it right first time, so please do let us know where there is room for improvement.
Most of all, a big thank you to all of you for continuing to teach, support and lead our registrars through this time – they appreciate your time, effort and care. And that is echoed by us at GP Synergy – the dedication of our GP supervisors has been wonderful, and we could not do it without you, thank you!
Clinical Associate Professor Rashmi Sharma OAM | Regional Head of Education North Coast
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.
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 email@example.com.
2020.1 has been a term where the innovation and resilience of general practice has become increasingly evident to the medical community and the community at large.
Due to the international pandemic, clinical and educational activities as we knew them, have been rapidly transformed to a safer format. This transformation came with a very steep learning curve for all concerned with GP training – GP supervisors, practice managers, registrars as well as GP Synergy medical education and events teams.
Face-to-face educational sessions were cancelled and the usual educational CPD requirements for supervisors to attend these events has been waived for the current year. Some were replaced with online versions, while others have been postponed to 2020.2
New webinars were developed to address supervision needs during telehealth, disaster management and most recently, Dr Monica Moore presented a webinar on 'Doctors health and wellbeing in the COVID era'. This webinar focused specifically on practical approaches for both psychological self-care and that of registrars currently being supported in practice. Recordings of this and other webinars can be accessed on GPRime using the 'Quick Links and Subscriptions' tab and selecting 'Webinars for Supervisors'.
We have now held two 'Check in and Chat' sessions in each region. These Supervisor Liaison Officer led sessions were evening based meetings developed to provide a forum for supervisors to connect regionally, in a safe space, with the opportunity to discuss the impact that the demands of rapid change had placed on them. Further interactive online meetings are under development.
GP Synergy Medical Educators with Supervisor Portfolio (MESP) reached out to supervisors who identified specific needs, supervisors whose registrars identified specific needs, as well as those supervisors who continued to simply absorb the increasing demands of the new world order with their usual unflappable resilience.
GP supervisors are continuing to do their work both clinically and educationally despite what the world is throwing at them. GP Synergy recognises this with the added supports and modifications in requirements. We continue to work together to meet the needs of patients, registrars and supervisors.
Please contact your local MESP or Practice Liaison Support Officer for individualized support. Their details are available through Need some help?
Useful Links :
Doctors Self Care resources as recommended by Dr Monica Moore
Dr Eszter Fenessy | Deputy Regional Head of Education Central East South West Sydney
Do you know a registrar, supervisor or practice worthy of a college award?
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.
Rural generalist training
With the 2021 NSW Rural Generalist Medical Training Program applications opening soon, meet three of our rural generalist registrars.
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.
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. This includes modules on children's health, dermatology, mental health, prescribing and more!
Need some help?
Find key GP Synergy contacts including Practice Liaison and Support Officers, Supervisor Liaison Officers and Medical Educators with a Supervisor Portfolio.