The Teaching Course Melbourne 2017

31 Aug – 3 September 2017

Citadines on Bourke, Melbourne

After one of our most successful events in history, The Teaching Course is coming back to Melbourne in 2017!

This 3-day course has been designed especially for medical educators seeking to enhance their skills as a teacher and who want to make a real difference in medical education.

Our passionate, all-star cast of local and international educators, will


inspire and help you to truly rejuvenate your teaching.

Sessions will include:

And if you are truly serious about upping your presentation game, don’t miss the opportunity to participate in the Pcubed Workshop, hosted by the phenomenal Dr Ross Fisher.

Brought to you by Ultrasound Training Solutions and The Teaching Institute you can expect a whirlwind of ‘meducational’ goodness not seen at any other event in Australia.

Further information and registration The Teaching Course Melbourne


Supervision a fun journey for Chris

Sole principal of Hallett Cove Corner Surgery Chris Jenkins became a GP supervisor 16 years ago to help boost “manpower” at the practice.

However, she soon found she relished the teaching role and her motivation shifted for continuing supervision at her South Australian clinic.

“I enjoy it; it’s fun” Chris said of her long-time commitment to training “the profession’s future workforce.

Chris recently received a Recognition of service Award (16-20 Years) from General Practice Supervisors Australia.

How many registrars has she trained?

“Many,” Chris, 57, said.  “There is always a GPT1 each year, plus often others full-time and part-time and a GPT2 and above.”

With large numbers of young doctors under her mentorship, Chris admits occasionally there have been “challenging registrars”. However, overall she said the teaching journey had been enjoyable and encouraged other GPs to become supervisors.

As is the case for many supervisors, Chris finds the rewards are twofold for registrar and supervisor.

“The registrar gains real life knowledge of being a GP, as well as life balance and of course clinical education and experience,” Chris said.

“It’s fun. I get to meet many new registrars, be a part of their life and help them pass exams.

“You get to influence the way they practice and influence their lives.

“My teaching skills have improved and I have improved at giving feedback. I enjoy teaching one-on-one but I still do not enjoy public speaking.”

Supervising new junior doctors each year presented work-flow challenges when needing to “take time out from patients” Chris said, but the teaching role also added variety to her clinical work.

“It breaks up your day so you are not just seeing patients.

“Supervising registrars also gives us access to new doctors coming through and enables us to increase the number of doctors in our workforce.

“Two of our current doctors were former registrars within our clinic.”

Beyond sharing medical knowledge, Chris also enjoys discussing footy if her registrar happens to be an Aussie rules fan.

The passionate Port Adelaide supporter recalled how wearing her club colours to a medical training event inadvertently attracted one particular registrar to train at Hallett Cove Corner Surgery.

“I was wearing my Port Adelaide clothes and this registrar chose to come and work in my practice because of that!

“On another occasion, I had a registrar who was going to watch her partner play in a country footy final at Peake in South Australia.

“I said I would go and watch too. I also wanted to support her in case anything happened and she was asked to help. At half-time there were three GPs in the change rooms; you wouldn’t get that many at an AFL match.”

Chris has also unofficially educated two of her five adult children who have chosen medicine as a career path; Sally, an RMO at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and Rebecca, a second-year university medical student.

Chair Report – May 2017

GP Supervisors Australia last week met with The Hon. Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health, The Hon. Dr David Gillespie MP, Assistant Minister for Health and The Hon. Ken Wyatt AM MP, Minister for Indigenous Health and Aged Care.

The take home message to each minister was that GP Supervisors remain the most efficient part of the GP Training environment and although we are at the front line busily getting on with training, long term sustainability needs to be nurtured.

You’ll notice in this edition that GPSA continues to provide all our resources freely with open access. It is a strategy that seems to resonate with Supervisors as downloads of our flashcards, participation in our webinars and downloads of teaching plans and guides continue to rise. This not only drives efficiency into GP training supporting you with best practice resources to support your teaching but importantly it helps save you time.

GPSA’s supervisor membership has grown this year to 4079, together with Practice Managers and Industry stakeholders this pushes overall membership to over 5000. You will see in our infographic. GPSA now have one of the largest datasets for the GP Supervisor workforce. This demography data is an important enabler to inform future Government workforce policy.

The sphere of influence supervisors have in delivering quality family doctors into the system has a profound and long term impact on the health budget.

Consider 50 years of appropriate evidence based practice and medicare billing. Now, consider the alternative.

This was one of the key messages we delivered to the Ministers. We are honoured that they took the time to meet with GPSA and thank them for their interest. It was clear they understood the important role GP Supervisors play within the GP training system and we look forward to continuing our dialogue with the Australian Government into the future.

GPSA has always advocated for:

As always, we exist to serve and support our members, so if you have an idea about how we can support you better. Please pick up the phone or send us an email.


Dr Steve Holmes


GPSA Membership – did you know:

To view more interesting statistics on GPSA members, click HERE



Research Roundup – May 2017

This month’s Research Roundup explores the use of Twitter in exam preparation, EPAs, flipped classrooms, interprofessional learning and tips on body language for educators!


Can Twitter help students prepare for final examinations?

And the answer is…..yes! With a whole lot of caveats.

In this fascinating little paper on the use of Twitter for vet student final exams (yes, vet as in ‘bow wow’) explores the use of #VetFinals for final year students engaged in exam preparation.

Of nine sessions, 52 students tweeted at least once, averaging 12 students per session (range 6-20).

Content analysis showed that facilitators used 3 categories (general question/comment, response to students and re-tweet) and students used 4 (response to facilitator’s question, response to fellow students, asking a new question and re-tweet).

Thematic analysis revealed seven themes:

So “what was the outcome?” I hear you ask.

Well we didn’t get to find out the students’ exam results (that would have been nice!) but the conclusion was that the use of Twitter was beneficial although a lot depended on how good the facilitator was. The novelty of the medium being used in this way was a factor and there was some evidence of peer learning.

And like every other learning situation, the style wasn’t for everyone.

Read about it here.


Are all EPAs really EPAs?

EPAs are all the rage, as we know.

This commentary paper challenges the notion that all EPAs are created equal.

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has identified 13 core EPAs that support EPAs at the postgraduate level for all specialties. These include for example “gathering history and performing a medical examination”.

Four EPAs were identified that did not fit the definition of an EPA as “a unit of professional practice that can be fully entrusted to a trainee, as soon as [s/he] has demonstrated the necessary competency to execute this activity unsupervised” (ten Cate et al 2015).

The four EPAs were:

The question posed was whether these EPAs are consistent with an entrustment view of unsupervised practice.

What do you think?

Read the commentary here.


Systematic review of the effectiveness of flipped classrooms in medical education

The paper reviewed 82 papers on the use of flipped classrooms in medical education.

Four key findings were:

The authors noted were that the majority of work has been carried out in undergraduate medical education and called for more studies in graduate medical education.

So publish or perish, people! If you’re doing some work in this area, get it out there!

Read it here.


International consensus statement on the assessment of interprofessional learning outcomes

Those of you who made it to the Ottowa conference in Perth in March last year may have had a hand in this!

We know there is increasing emphasis on interprofessional learning (and it was a point of contention in relation to how it could work as part of revalidation in a number of submissions) so wise heads around the world have come together in a ‘kumbayah’ moment to come up with a consensus statement (or more like a series of them actually) on how these should be assessed.

There are five sets of points of consensus around:

As a teaser for you, the outcomes one set of items is that IPL should be assessed in six domains:

Too much to report here but check out the paper here.


12 tips for effective body language for medical educators

Ok, you probably all know these but see how many of these you can guess (with some fun comments from me):

Read the serious version here


Well there’s only one policy item at this time of year and that of course is the Federal Budget.

This year’s health budget seems to have been generally well received across the mainstream press. It appears to have had a more mixed reception across the medical press.

Perhaps because there were 5 pre-budget compacts struck with key organisations including the RACGP, AMA, Medicines Australia, the Pharmacy Guild and the strangely-named Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association.

You can view the compacts here:

Here are the main items likely to affect you including some that might have been less prominent in the medical press.

5 key measures that may affect you and your practice:

  1. Medicare rebate thaw

Indexation for :

  1. Pathology rents ditched

The pathology rent deal that could have sent many GP practices down the gurgler was ditched. There will, however, be increased expenditure on compliance.

  1. Health Care Homes delayed

The first 20 practices in the Health Care Homes trial will commence activity in October 2017 (instead of July) with the following 180 commencing in December.

There is a mix of corporates, Aboriginal health services, after-hours services, GP-owned practices and some others in the group.

View the full list here:

Practices will receive block payments of between $600-$1800 for the care of their patients with chronic disease.

  1. Small business tax cuts and write-offs implemented

Small businesses with a turnover of up to $10m will have their tax rate cut to 27.5% for the current financial year (provided this measure gets through the Senate!).

The same category of businesses will also still be able to write off expenditure of up to $20,000 for another year.

Time to invest in some new equipment?? Maybe with enhanced cyber-security following the disastrous ransomware hack on the NHS??

       5. Levy on 457 visas

There will be a $3,000 or $5,000 one-off levy for those on a permanent skilled visa and an annual levy of $1,200 or $1,800 on temporary work visas.

The list of occupations (which includes GPs and nurse practitioners) for medium and long-term 457s can be found here:

Other items:

MyHealth Record

An opt-out approach for MyHealth Record will be introduced. Details of just how this will work are scant.

Prescribing changes

Default prescribing of generics with savings to be plowed back into the PBS. Again, details of quite how this would be implemented are scant.

MBS Taskforce

Looks set to be a permanent committee after the 3-year extension provided in this budget.




Research Study – Measuring the Educational Alliance from the GP Supervisor’s perspective

General Practice Training Tasmania (GPTT) in partnership with General Practice Supervisors Australia (GPSA) and Monash University invite you to participate in a unique survey designed to measure the educational alliance from the GP Supervisor’s perspective.

As far as we know, it is the first time this tool will be used to explore the supervisory relationship in general practice from the perspective of the supervisor, in Australia or elsewhere.

The survey is based on one used in clinical psychology in the UK. The SRM was amended by an Expert Supervisor Review Group and piloted with an Expert Supervisor Pilot Group to make it suitable and appropriate for GP Supervisors in the Australian General Practice Training Program.

The GP-SRM is an anonymous, online survey that takes about 10 minutes to complete.

We know your time is valuable, so as an incentive, we are providing the chance to win one of two (2) $500 Qantas travel vouchers, one of two (2) $300 Visa gift cards or one of three (3) $100 Visa gift cards.

For the chance to win one of these prizes simply provide your name and contact details by clicking the button at the end of the survey.

The survey opens on 22 May 2017 and closes on 16 June 2017.  Please check your inbox for the link to the survey. Please contact GPSA if you have not received an email with an link to the survey.

More information can be found in the Participant Explanatory Statement  – read here


Further information:

Joan Burns, Project Manager, GPSA or 0472 520 611



This project is supported by funding from the Australian Government under the Australian General Practice Training Program and support from the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.


‘Ferrous Man’ has infused fun factor to Danny’s supervision


It’s no coincidence that iron infusion specialist ‘Ferrous Man’ appears at the same registrar training events as GP supervisor Danny Byrne. Funnily enough, just like Clarke Kent and Superman, you won’t see Danny and Ferrous Man in the same room at once.
Danny, who is more prominently known as Chair of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners South Australia and Northern Territory, lives by his mantra that training registrars should be fun.  “If I am not having fun, then it’s not worth doing: you have got to stay enthusiastic and fresh,” Danny said of his teaching philosophy.

Danny, who is a partner at Chandlers Hill Surgery in South Australia’s Happy Valley, recently received a Recognition of Service Award (20+ Years) from General Practice Supervisors Australia.
He has supervised about 50 of the 80 to 100 registrars who have served terms at the large practice in the picturesque Adelaide foothills since 1995.

Danny has been a strong supporter of the RACGP since his training days in the early 1990s and fellowship in 1993. His roles have included RACGP exam preparation workshops for registrars and international medical graduates – and of course, helping his alter-ego Ferrous Man train young doctors in iron infusions.  “It’s a real pleasure to teach the next generation of doctors so we have the best doctors for the future of Australia,” Danny, 53, said.  “I enjoy seeing the registrars learn and giving them the experience of many presentations that they couldn’t see in their hospital training.”

The large multi-disciplinary Chandlers Hill Surgery provides a comprehensive training ground for registrars, some of whom have returned after fellowship. Other health services on-site include pathology, physiotherapy, podiatry, psychology and a specialist service for immunology and allergies.
Danny’s links to Chandlers Hill Surgery began during his final term as a registrar at the practice in 1992.
He became a practice partner in 1995 and is among its five accredited supervisors who rotate supervision of up to two registrars at a time. “I like seeing registrars realise they can manage so many conditions in the community,” Danny said of the supervisor’s role. “Being a GP supervisor keeps me up to date; it makes me a better doctor.”

Danny admits the responsibility of supervision occasionally presented challenges, however these were outweighed by the rewards.  “You will get difficult registrars every now and then, but overwhelmingly the majority are excellent,” he said.  “It’s great catching up with ex-registrars at career events and seeing how their careers are unfolding; that’s a real highlight for me.”
Danny cited the Happy Valley practice as an example of the GP training apprenticeship model advantaging succession planning.  “Six or seven of our current doctors, including four partners, are past registrars of this practice.”


Curtain Closing for Long Term Supervisor


Hubert Van Doorn’s life as a GP principle and main supervisor in his practice in East Brunswick has drawn to a close. Hubert is now a medical educator, and while he still consults and supervises part time to maintain his GP status, it’s not the same as before.

He moved to the NT a few weeks ago to further commit to his medical educator role at Northern Territory General Practice Education. “I do have both a sense of achievement and loss having developed strong relationships with my patients, our registrars and my colleagues.”

We so often focus on the recruitment and training of GP supervisors, but what does it feel like to come out the other end? Were the promises of satisfying, two-way learning realised for Hubert?

“Yes” he says confidently.

“It is demanding and there are challenges but it is frankly enjoyable. I often hear supervisors say ‘I don’t know how I ever worked without them’. Registrars certainly improve your overall effectiveness because you’re constantly involved in a dialogue about providing the best health outcomes”.

According to Hubert there are three levels of benefit, apart from the direct benefits to the registrar’s themselves.

1. The patients. It is my experience that patients do embrace and value interaction with younger doctors.
2. The supervisor. Having registrars in practice requires experienced supervisors to stop and think about what they do. Having an enquiring colleague by your side makes you stop and think and that directly relates to improved patient care.
3. The whole practice. The whole practice engages with and support our registrars. We all benefit. It has been especially rewarding to share the teaching and supervision with my co-supervisor.

Hubert’s practice became accredited as a training organisation in 2013 and while he mentored and supervised many junior doctors throughout his career, he formally became a supervisor at his practice then. When asked, what Hubert would have done differently his response is clear. “I would have liked it if we had become a training practice sooner than we did”.

Is medical education a natural next step for supervisors? “For me it is. I’m still passionate about general practice and GP training. The NT provides a different environment to both learn within and contribute to, at the same time. I still love seeing the world through the eyes of registrars. When you work alongside a good registrar it’s like gold”.

Chair Report April 2017


On Thursday Assistant Minister for Health, The Hon. David Gillespie announced the coalitions investment of $54.4 million over the next two years to create three additional University Departments of Rural Health and 26 Rural Health Training Hubs.

GP Supervisors Australia applauds this decision.

Government policy around health workforce distribution is complex, so building on initiatives that have demonstratively boosted health workforce retention through training in rural and remote locations is a good idea.

The announcement is a very practical and welcome investment in our communities as we head into the Easter break. There is something about Easter that inspires pause and reflection… and perhaps a chocolate or two to be shared among family. While not all of us will get a break this Easter, for those supervisors working over this period we thank you for looking after our communities.

Recognition of Service

The Recognition of Service Awards are all about recognising the important work GP supervisors nationally contribute to their communities.

It has been pleasing to see some of our most recent awardees recognised by their local news media. Remember if you have someone in your team that has contributed over 10 years as a GP Supervisor, we encourage you to nominate them for this award.

Ethical Dilemma’s Teaching Resource

If you have a spare moment over the break have a look at the resources available for download in this eNews. Notably the Shades of Grey Resource are a set of ethical dilemma scenarios a GP registrar may face as a GP. You can use these as an in-practice teaching session to put your registrar through their paces and guide their understandings, professional attitudes and future actions.

New Teaching Clinical Reasoning and Managing Uncertainty Guides

We have published two new guides since the last eNews, to coincide with the related webinars. While our collective knowledge in these areas is developed throughout our careers, we can assist our registrars from their first term by highlighting these areas and employing the teaching strategies outlined in these guides early on in their terms. Having an early conversation can really assist with your registrars progression. Check them out they are definitely worth a look.

Federal Budget

On May 9, GPSA will attend the budget lock-up for a briefing on the budget measures being delivered by the Treasurer specifically in the health portfolio. We will use this opportunity to unpack what the budget means for supervisors in the next eNews.

Supervisor engagement

We have been pleased to see member engagement continue to grow with webinar registrations consistently above 150. If you have not yet delved into the curious new world of education from the comfort of your own home, give it a go. There is an opportunity for you to engage with fellow supervisors and learn something new without taking you away from consulting time during the day.

I hope you enjoy what the team have put together for you in this eNews. It is great to see the teaching plans and orientation templates being downloaded in such high volume… it says we are hitting the mark in terms of the support you want, which is great.

From the entire GPSA team and board I wish you a happy and safe Easter. May the Easter break warm the Government to the idea of unfreezing Medicare next month.

Warm Regards,

Steve Holmes
GPSA Chair