‘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.”