Regional Head of Education update
It is nearly halfway through the year, and what a year it has been!
Our area was badly affected by bushfires and many of our supervisors played a key part in helping in bushfire affected areas. We have quite a few local heroes and heroines who manned emergency departments, hospitals and practices with no phones and no internet while the bushfires raged not too far away. Many lives were saved, and many thanks go to those supervisors who worked tirelessly to support their communities in very difficult circumstances.
As if that weren’t enough, we then had to contend with a pandemic. I came back from a lovely conference and holiday in Malaysia to a two-week forced isolation because I had a runny nose. I had the horrid COVID swab (I thought that my brain was being sampled!) and plain boring old rhinovirus was diagnosed.
We have made many rapid changes in such a short time frame. There have been changes at an organisational and clinical level. The advent of telehealth has been revolutionary, and I wonder if it is here to stay.
GP Synergy recently held ‘Check in and chat’ events on-line. The events were for supervisors to check in with GP Synergy staff, and chat with other supervisors about issues that they have been having, particularly during the Coronavirus pandemic. The events have been hosted by James Boyd, our Supervisor Liaison Officer, and attended by our MESPs James Best and Richard Griffiths, and myself.
We have had two events so far and have had great conversations at both. We have heard how several areas fared in the bushfires, and how different practices are dealing with Coronavirus. We learned a great tip on how not to fog your glasses whilst wearing a mask, and what PPE you can buy from Bunnings!
We are hoping to have another event soon, and hope that you can join us. We do hope to resume our face-to-face supervisor workshops next term, but in the meantime, it has been great catching up on Zoom.
As a GP your own health is very important. The first half of 2020 has been a time of great stress and change. Income, family and placements may have all been stressful over the past few months. If you feel that your registrar is in difficulty, please let us know, either by contacting the registrar’s medical educator or myself. Seeing a new patient every 15-20 minutes can also be hard, as our patients are also suffering at the moment, and we sometimes share their burdens.
Please look after both your mental and physical health, as you are precious!
If you would like some ideas, you could check out:
- RACGP Self-Care and Mental Health Resources for General Practitioners
- ACRRM Health & Well-being Support
- GP Synergy wellbeing and support resources in the GP Supervisor Toolkit
Dr Allison Miller | Regional Head of Education South Eastern NSW
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.