Supervisor Profile - Dr Mark Zagorski

Dr Libby Garoni and Dr Mark Zagorski

Mt Beauty GP Supervisors Dr Mark Zagorski and colleague Dr Libby Garoni (pictured above) were recognised with Recognition of Service awards from GP Supervisors Australia (GPSA) in May 2021 for their outstanding contribution of over 60 years combined contribution to Mt Beauty and the surrounding community nurturing the next generation of GPs. This recognition comes on top of a 2019 Order of Australia for Dr Mark Zagorksi, who has provided many years of service to Rural General Practice in the region. His recognition award from GPSA recognises 40 years supervising GPs in the Mount Beauty practice, passing on his wealth of knowledge.

GPSA Reward and Recognition program

The GPSA reward and recognition program recognises the hard work and dedication of GP supervisors. If you are are a GP supervisor with over 10 years of supervising experience, we would like to recognise your dedication to nurturing the next generation of family practitioners. To nominate, you must be accredited by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and/or the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) to train GP registrars engaged within the Australian General Practice Training program.

Nominated GP supervisors will receive:

  • Recognition of Service Award
  • ‘Training Practice is a Quality Practice’ Poster
  • Media release advising local MPs and your local media of your service to the community

To nominate a GP supervisor or yourself please click the button below

What rewards do you see from GP Supervision ?

It is rewarding seeing the young registrars and their enthusiasm, and eventually seeing them coming out as great GPs and sometimes continuing in the practice. One particular John Flynn registrar came back every year for four years and much later I saw him presenting to me at a conference talking about Paediatric burns. It was great to see my student eventually becoming my teacher in this way. Another former registrar later became a partner in my practice, and others have stayed on to work within the practice as qualified GPs. Last year my heart stopped and a couple of registrars in my clinic saved my life and resuscitated me, showing the real benefits of their training in life-threatening situations and addressing my own health emergency. 

Do you feel that you learn from GP Registrars also?

Sometimes I feel as though I learn more from them than they learn from me. Registrars have access to so much knowledge nowadays and are good at gathering and remembering this knowledge, even in obscure areas. Their knowledge makes me stay more up to date more than I thought I needed to be. In training, we come up with answers and discuss different clinical situations. They learn practical things from me and I gain esoteric knowledge about different areas of clinical knowledge, as well as IT skills, which registrars have in abundance.  

What are the challenges of GP supervision?

At times there are challenges with GP Supervision, with a great deal of time spent with formal training sessions, ad hoc consultations and occasional calls in the night. It reduces the number of weekends  I can call my own, but ultimately it is worthwhile, with the patients ending up as the ultimate beneficiary. Over forty years of supervising Registrars, I could count on one hand the number of difficult registrars I have had. Previously they used to only come for a few months, but many now come for two years, so I am really able to get to know them and most are a delight to work with. 

How has GPSA Supported you?

I have received great support from GPSA over the years through information on their website, seminars and Webinars and I am quite content with the amount of service they provide for GP Supervisors. 

What would you say to others considering becoming a GP supervisor?

I would encourage all GPs to supervise student registrars and each other to share knowledge and learn. In our practice, we have nine doctors and we all meet in the morning to talk about interesting cases, share ideas and discuss treatment plans. Communication is the most important thing, listening and learning from each other and looking after each other’s mental health as well. It is great to take the time to talk one on one and also as a group to support each other in this way. The only thing is that this takes time which may be used for billable work, which younger GP supervisors in particular may find difficult if they have financial burdens to contend with.