Excellence Innovation Community Engagement

Program News

Bianca Vardanega, Manager General Pathway
Val Treneman, Manager Rural Pathway

 

2021 Selection  

We would like to acknowledge all EV program support, supervisors and medical educators who were involved in the organisation and delivery of selection interviewsfor the 2021 cohort of registrars. The transition to Zoom interviews ran seamlessly due to the hard work put in by all involved.

EV interviewed 170 RACGP applicants, which included 51 rural pathway and 119 generalpathway. 112 training offers were accepted (30 rural pathway and 82 general pathway).

For ACRRM, EV interviewed 8 applicants and made5 offers for training positions. 

  Number of Interviews  Training Offers Accepted   100% of our training places 

for 2021 are filled 

RACGP  51 General Pathway 

119 Rural Pathway 

170 Total Interview

82 General Pathway 

30 Rural Pathway 

112 Total 

ACRRM  8 Rural Pathway  5 Rural Pathway 
 Total   178 Interviews   117 Offers Accepted 

We are very pleased to advise that the result of our endeavours is that we have 100% filled our training places for 2021. This is a great achievement for our staff, practices and importantly our training footprint. 

 

Practice Match

Due to COVID, EV made the decision to cancel round 1 of the practice match early in semester 1 2020. This meant all training practices and registrars participated in one match for the 2021 training year. 

In 2021, we will resumewith two practice match rounds for the 2022 training year. Round 1 will open in June for GPT2 and above registrars and round 2 will open in September for all GPT1 registrars. 

 

Delivery of workshops in 2021

EV will continue to deliver registrar, supervisor and practice manager workshops online in 2021.1. The workshop delivery for 2021.2 will be decided early next year and will be communicated to all stakeholders as soon as a decision is made.

Supervisor Professional Development

Dr Michael Baker, Professional Development Coordinator

 

The “headline” workshops are over and have all run successfully. Phew! It has been wonderful to reflect on the positive feedback from these events and the acknowledgement of the hard work put in by the team to achieve this outcome. So, I thought in this update I would highlight some activity this year that is less obvious. And in both cases, it is especially the IT savvy in the team that has made it happen. 

The first is the change in the Foundation workshops (pre-accreditation workshops for new supervisors) from face-to-face to online. This became essential in the first half of the year. The format chosen was a blend of four modules. Module 1 is completed by the supervisor online at home or work and involves an interactive combination of video presentations, text, journal articles and written reflections. This is to be completed in the two weeks prior to Modules 2 and 3. Modules 2 and 3 are both interactive 90-minute zoom sessions with the whole cohort present (up to 20 or so) run on a Friday afternoon. Module 4 is the final module completed individually online in the following week. This has enabled us to successfully train over eighty new supervisors online this year. 

The second is the online core modules the first of which has just gone “live” (Observing your Registrar). I know this has been promised for a while but delivering content online that replicates an interactive face-to-face workshop and can be undertaken by supervisors at any time has provided a seemingly endless run of hurdles to overcome. There are two more core modules to follow shortly. The fourth module with an Aboriginal health focus will be released in the first half of next year. 

Planning for next year is well advanced though remains via zoom for Semester 1 with rural and metropolitan full-day workshops in March the biggest events. In Semester 2 we have the two residentials booked in for October (Yarra Valley) and November (San Remo) face-to-face. That sounds like something to look forward to! 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New year to all.

Accreditation and Practice Support

Dr Heather Grusauskas, Accreditation and Practice Support Coordinator

 

We continue to support training posts in metropolitan Melbourne and Gippsland to be accredited and re-accredited against the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Standards for General Practice Training and/or the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) Supervisor and Training Post Standards. 

Due to the number of registrars whose training was impacted by COVID-19, we increased the number of newly accredited practices across its region. A total of 13 general practices were accredited from MMM1 to MMM3. We will be piloting a new practice mentor program from the commencement of the 2021 training year to support our new training practices, supervisors and practice managers. We will also be reviewing areas of workforce shortage in our region over the coming months and will look to accredit additional training practices in outer metropolitan and rural locations.  

Working with our general practices, hospitals and community-based posts is key to ensuring a positive learning environment for registrars in the program. We have been proactive in the ongoing delivery of online webinars and workshops to support supervisors and practice managers during COVID-19.  

In conjunction with the Colleges, We have continued to provide support to practices, albeit in an alternative flexible online arrangement to deliver its services.  This includes monitoring registrars working remotely under telehealth, providing individualised practice support and desktop accreditations.

A reminder that we have a process in place for both short term emergency supervision and longer-term cover (blended supervision application). 

ECTVsRCTIs and registrar feedback is valuable and helps inform our program.  Some generalized feedback from these reports includes: 

  • Looking for alternative ways to increase patient numbers for registrars during Covid has been greatly appreciated! 
  • Supporting flexible working options 
  • Supervision and teaching levels have been retained

Activities over the last 6 months

Practices 

  • Providing one on one support 
  • Working together in providing solutions to issues 
  • Telehealth applications 
  • Keeping practices up to date on accreditation requirements 

Supervisors 

  • “Using the Science of Growth Mindset to set learners up for success” sessions run at the November supervisor workshops 
  • Foundation workshops for new supervisors 
  • Roll out of pilot mentor program in 2021 for new training practices 
  • Increased number of supervisor workshops being online 

Work plans for next year

  • Looking at new ways of supporting our training practices. 

Supervisor Liaison Officer (SLO) Reports

Dr Gerard Connors – Metropolitan SLO
Dr Peter Stevens – Rural SLO

 

With Victoria having over a month of zero Covid cases, practices, Supervisors, Registrars , and Practice staff are slowly returning to something approaching normal after a very stressful year.  

There are 3 big issues nationally at present: 

  1. RTO’s contracts have been extended until the start of 2023.  
    What will GP training look like after that? At present no one knows. There is much discussion happening in Canberra, with GPSA representing Supervisors and Mark Rowe EVGPT. We are going to have to be patient. In the meantime, GP Supervisors and practices will continue to train Registrars as we have done through all the training organisation upheavals over the last 20 years.
  2. How can we get more doctors to apply for General Practice training, particularly in some outer metro,regional, rural and remote areas? 
    There have been many suggestions and incentives over the past 50 plus years, but GP’s and non-GP specialists in these areas, especially in rural and remote areas. Rural Generalism may be one solution, but others are needed, especially in the short term. EVGPT has always been conscious of this, but will have a greater focus on areas of need. Restoring the GP items on the MBS to their true value, after decades of not keeping up with CPI and 5 years of a Medicare freeze would make a huge difference, but unfortunate is not on the table. Increasing exposure of medical students and junior doctors to General Practice would also help.
  3. Registrar pay and conditions. 
    One reason cited for doctors are not coming into practice is the drop in base salary from Hospitals to General Practice. What is not highlighted in the medical press is that many registrars earn many thousands more with their percentage top up. Howeverthere are some Registrars, particularly in GPT1 who only get their base salary (that is they do not trigger any percentage bonus). Unfortunately, there is no harddata on this, but in speaking with Supervisors at recent PD meetings, it is a small cohort. The North Queensland RTO, JCU, has an innovative scheme whereby a few practices, with a subsidy from JCU, have been trialling a top up payment amongst other incentives to place Registrars in practices that often miss out. The Federal Government would need to provide extra funds to support this nationally.The other option canvassed by the AMA and in particular their Doctors in training section is a Single Employer Model. Trials are underway in a couple of rural NSW areas to look at the pros and cons. Results are said to be up to 2 years away.Another concern of Registrars is the loss of hospital conditions and entitlements. These issues are being discussed at the Federal level. I refer you to recent and upcoming GPSA newsletters for more information.I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on a Single Employer Model compared with a top up of base salary. Also, if your practice has had Registrars who have only received their base salary please let us know. 

Who to Contact?

Gerard Connors SLO SE and covering NE while Carolyn Royse on extended sick leave  

Peter Stevens Rural SLO  

Damian Flanagan is SLO for Peninsula