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Keeping GP supervisors front and centre!

I had the pleasure of meeting WA supervisors recently at WAGPET’s Supervisor conference, which attracted 159 dedicated GP supervisors from across the state. I was reminded just how much generosity and gratitude is involved in GP supervision. As a group, GP supervisors tend not to be high maintenance. I know this is appreciated by RTOs.

The flip side to that of course is that it also makes us sometimes less visible or vocal than we should be if there are issues that could easily be fixed. I attended the WAGPET conference with Dr Simon Morgan and between us we presented on the NTCER, Random Case Analysis, but also the lighter side of GP training and the value of sharing our own personal journey and stories with our GP registrars.

Quite rightly RTO conferences feature research and theory, and increasingly I am noticing RTO’s embrace the concepts of teaching GP registrars about ‘vulnerability’ and ‘how to make mistakes’. In fact these were the titles of two such presentations at the MCCC GP Training Supervisor Conference GPSA CEO Glen Wallace attended at the Melbourne Zoo in July.

There is much about supervision that is nuanced. So much so that the GP registrars acquisition of knowledge is, for many, the least difficult aspect of the GP training program. Suspending judgement, acceptance of uncertainty, understanding how to make mistakes safely, accepting your own vulnerability as a human being who can make mistakes and learning to read between lines in a patient consult are all the skills that our GP registrars won’t find in any textbook or journal article. They are lifelong learning modules that we gain throughout our careers and often the skills that keep our patients safe. I admire our RTOs for the weight they are giving to such issues in their professional development.

ACRRM Election outcome

GP Supervisors Australia welcome the announcement that Associate Professor Ruth Stewart has been elected Incoming ACRRM President and will commence in this important role in October.

We would also like to acknowledge the collegial approach Associate Professor Lucie Walters has brought to the role during a time of great change. The positive relationships and leadership forged during Lucie’s term are most welcome and we look forward to the continuation of the positive relationship GP supervisors have established with the college presidents past, present and future.

National Terms and Conditions for the Employment of Registrars (NTCER) Negotiations

General Practice Supervisors Australia have been negotiating the NTCER with GPRA over the past two months and we anticipate that agreement will be reached by late August. Given current realities with the Medicare freeze, we do not anticipate any changes to percentages or base rates of pay, nor any substantial changes to the agreement reached in 2014. We will keep you posted and let you know as soon as we have a valid agreement in place for 2017.

Supervisor Liaison Officer Network Meeting

SLO’s from every RTO will be present in August when the network again meets. SLO’s are your local advocate if you need some guidance or support with a particular GP training issue. They are always respected individuals in their local supervisor community and their role is really to support, represent and advocate for the views of GP supervisors. You should get to know them if you have not been introduced. We have a full list of SLOs by state on our website.

RTO Network Negotiations regarding Training Practice Agreement Principles

GPSA have developed a set of guiding principles which are currently being negotiated with the RTO Network. These principles were road tested at the recent Supervisor Liaison Officer Network meeting and supported by members of this group. The principles pave the way for friendlier and more consistent terms and conditions for training practices. We will keep you informed of outcomes of these negotiations as they progress.

Conference season

GPSA will be attending the GP 16, RMA 16 and GPTEC 16 conferences over the next three months. We look forward to meeting as many of you as possible at these conferences. We will have a booth in the exhibition spaces of each conference and a number of presentations, so don’t be a stranger, drop in and see our new resources in the flesh! Check out our in practice teaching resources on the website… they are not a new idea, but they do make all of our lives potentially much easier. So road test them and let us know what you think. We always welcome feedback!

GPSA recently announced our AGM which will be held in Perth in conjunction with the GP ’16 conference. We look forward to sharing the years successes and announcing the new board for 2016/ 2017 following the AGM election.

Dr Bruce Willett
GPSA Chair