Majority of rural GPs are supervisors: study

More than half of respondents based in rural areas to the Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life (MABEL) survey Australia’s general practitioners are supervising GP registrars, GPSA researchers have found.

The finding is part of an Australia-first study that looks at factors related to rural general practitioners supervising registrars and provides a valuable insight into the circumstances in which GPs outside major cities are most likely to take up supervision.

Key findings included:

GPSA chair Dr Gerard Connors said the research would contribute to the knowledge base that has been previously lacking around GP supervision and provide a foundation for strategies to increase the number of rural GPs becoming supervisors.

“Potential strategies to enhance rural general practice supervision capacity include increasing the number of Australian-trained doctors in rural general practice, and increasing support for IMGs to train vocationally and to supervise once Fellowed,” Dr Connors said.

“GPs in larger rural practices have been shown to be more likely to be supervisors – 57.8 per cent according to this study – so that raises the possibility that with more support, doctors in smaller settings could be encouraged to take on a GP registrar.

“This information gives us more to work on than we have ever had to identify ways to increase supervision capacity in rural Australia.”

The project, led by Dr Belinda O’Sullivan, was supported by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and funded by the Australian Government under the Australian General Practice Training Program.