Teaching plans resonate with supervisors

A growing suite of teaching plans provided free by GPSA is the organisation’s most popular member resource, according to this year’s GPSA Supervisor Satisfaction Survey.

GPSA has 63 teaching plans with topics falling under one of three categories: diagnoses, presentations and processes. While new plans are in the process of being created, the earliest published plans are currently under review to ensure relevant updates are published.

Forty-three per cent of supervisors who participated in the 2019 GPSA member survey said they used the teaching plans.

Dr Simon Morgan, a GP supervisor and GP Synergy medical educator who has written some of the GPSA teaching plans, believes the easily accessible resource is also being used independently by registrars.

“The downloads may not just be exclusively supervisor driven: registrars are downloading plans independently for their exam practice and in-practice use,” Dr Morgan said.

For this reason, he said it was difficult to pinpoint why certain topics received the most downloads.

“I think there are different reasons why the top 20 downloaded topics are represented more than others,” Dr Morgan said.


Looking at the top 20 downloaded topics, which include abdominal pain (top one), dizziness and funny turns (top two), abnormal uterine bleeding (top three), acne (top four) and breast lumps (top five), Dr Morgan said there was no obvious link.

He said while publication dates may play a part in the overall download figures, other variables may also influence what currently make up the top 20 downloads.

“Undifferentiated presentations, such as a cough (top six) or abdominal pain, are challenging to manage, so these teaching plans could have also been downloaded independently by registrars.

“The higher risk presentations, such as uterine bleeding and breast lumps, could be getting downloads from registrars or supervisors wanting to look at areas of high-risk practice.

“Other topics, such as acne, contraception (top 15) and Work Cover (top 18) could be resonating with supervisors and registrars because registrars haven’t been exposed to these learning areas in the hospital setting.”

In general, Dr Morgan said the appeal of all 63 teaching plans was the documents’ formula of being concise, yet comprehensive with a “focus on the practical aspects of general practice, and a strong exam focus”.

Not only are the teaching plans a quick document to read, they are a high quality “off-the-shelf and ready to use” time-saver for supervisors, Dr Morgan said.

“I think the plans are close to unique. I am not aware of these type of punchy, brief, comprehensive and practical plans with a focus on GP training being available elsewhere.”

Dr Morgan urged supervisors who had not yet used the teaching plans to discover the benefits of doing so.

“Have a look and try one or two, and hopefully it will become part of your teaching toolkit.”

View the full suite of teaching plans here.