GP supervisors make a vital contribution to the provision of quality training for the next generation of family doctors. They are the cornerstone of the ‘apprenticeship–style’ GP training program in Australia. Both the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) in their standards documents identify the importance of GP supervisor and team for the training of GPs.
The GP supervisor’s role is complex, diverse and can be challenging. It includes the roles of mentor, role model, clinical educator, assessor, pastoral carer, and also very often employer.1 One of their most important tasks is the early recognition of GP registrars in difficulty so that appropriate interventions and support can be put in place. But what about GP supervisors themselves? They too can find themselves in difficulty. How can this be identified early? What interventions and supports are there?
This guide aims to assist GP supervisors to:
- Identify signs of a GP supervisor in difficulty.
- Appreciate some of the potential causes of difficulties.
- Recognise the challenges in identifying and managing a GP supervisor in difficulty.
- Identify preventive strategies.
- Understand the staged processes for managing a GP supervisor in difficulty.
- Identify appropriate supports.
- Understand the various roles and responsibilities of involved parties.
This guide is not intended to be used as a definitive reference and should be used in conjunction with the policies and guidelines of your own Regional Training Organisation (RTO), medical defence organisations and regulatory authorities.