Recently GP Supervisors Australia (GPSA) recognised more than 90 GP supervisors who have provided more than 10 years of service supervising the next generation of family practitioners. GP supervisors are trained specialist GPs who oversee the training of Australia’s future GPs in an apprentice-based model; shaping, guiding and mentoring the professional behaviours expected of general practitioners.
Once a doctor has been accepted into the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program and completed their hospital years, they begin training in a general practice or community placement as a GP registrar. They do this in an apprentice-based model under the guidance of GP supervisors in an accredited GP training practice.
The Department of Health contracts training providers throughout Australia to deliver two general practice training programs in urban, regional and rural areas.
The two endpoints of becoming a GP are with either Fellowship of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (FACRRM) and/or the Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (FRACGP). There are also additional qualifications that can be pursued.
More than 90 GP supervisors were acknowledged through the Recognition of Service Awards nationally in 2015 and 65 in 2016. These GPs were nominated by colleagues who respect the largely unpaid contribution these doctors make to Australia’s future GP workforce every day. They do this on top of their clinical work at very little recompense and many GP supervisors are not paid for their supervision time at all.
Giving back to their communities is a part of your local GP supervisors’ DNA. GP supervisors at your training practice believe in contributing to their communities not just as a clinician, but to ensuring you and your family have a qualified clinician to look after you and loved ones well after they have themselves retired. GP supervisors also recognise their families and themselves will need to be cared for as they age and they hope to receive the very best care, just as you do! GP supervisors learn many non-clinical skills from their registrars and are rewarded as they observe their GP registrar’s growth in confidence and competence as they move towards vocation registration as a GP.
When you visit your local training practice you can enjoy the peace of mind in knowing that the practice you are attending is accredited by an independent regulatory agency, the local training provider, and one or both of the vocational colleges. Should you have the chance to receive care from a GP registrar, you can be certain that the care you receive is being checked by a qualified and accredited GP supervisor. In this way, when you choose a teaching practice, you choose a quality practice.
So, when you make your next appointment whether you see a GP registrar or a GP supervisor, you too are supporting the future GP workforce. If you aren’t sure, ask your GP or practice manager if they are a GP training practice.
This initiative is proudly sponsored by The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.