GPEx works collaboratively with organisations to ensure we can together achieve high-quality outcomes with practical, real-world applications. View our projects below.

Workplace‐based assessments in postgraduate medical education: A hermeneutic review (2020)


Since their introduction, workplace‐based assessments (WBAs) have proliferated throughout postgraduate medical education. Previous reviews have identified mixed findings regarding WBAs’ effectiveness, but have not considered the importance of user‐tool‐context interactions. The present review was conducted to address this gap by generating a thematic overview of factors important to the acceptability, effectiveness and utility of WBAs in postgraduate medical education.

View full article here

Real-time learning logs in General Practice - Tracking in-consultation learning of general practice registrars (2020)




In order to be lifelong learners, it is important that GP registrars identify their learning goals and can track their learning to allow for adequate reflection.

This qualitative study aims to better understand:

  • The acceptability, feasibility and utility of a learning checklist tool for registrars;
  • How Australian general practice registrars learn within the consultation; and
  • How real-time mapping of their learning concerns allows for a more accurate reflection of their educational needs.

Building on existing research around learning plans and their current low utility, the project aims to answer the following research questions through a series of registrar interviews:

  • Does tracking learning needs within general practice registrar consultations adequately encourage self-reflection and capture learning gaps?
  • Is the concept of real-time electronic tracking of learning feasible and acceptable to registrars, and how easy is it to involve supervisors and medical educators in this process?
  • Can electronic learning logs sufficiently identify and monitor learning needs and what is the overall educational impact of such tools?

Investigation of the adaptability, feasibility and utility of a Patient Encounter Tracking and Learning (PETAL) tool (2020)


In 2020, GPEx has been awarded an Education Research Grant by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners to investigate the acceptability, utility and feasibility of a Patient Encounter Tracking And Learning (PETAL) tool. This project aims to understand:

  • How PETAL tools stimulate reflection;
  • How useful PETAL tools are for practising GPs; and
  • How a PETAL tool can be implemented across different training contexts.

Using GP Explore as the PETAL tool, we will be using a mixed-methods design to address the research aims, sourcing data through interviews and surveys with stakeholders, and analysing registrars’ reflective assessments. The findings of this research may help to improve the quality of PETAL tools for a variety of uses and provide information regarding their implementation and value for other training contexts.

Medical Speciality Decision-Making Study (Jul 2019 - Jan 2020)

Jul 2019 – Jan 2020

This project has drawn together findings from a contextual analysis, focus groups and a survey to better understand the perceptions of rural general practice and general practice in comparison to other specialties, and the factors that influence specialty decision-making for medical students, junior doctors and specialists in training. Triangulation of results across the project showed strong agreement, which assists to strengthen the overall key messages and combat the limitations of individual study parts. The final model of specialty decision-making highlights the important contextual information, experiences and messaging, perceptions and decision-making criteria being used to inform specialty choice. This information can be used to understand why applications to the rural pathway, and general practice training more broadly, are decreasing. Finally, the opportunities presented should be used to generate discussion and inform future strategy.

View MSDM summary report here

View MSDM full final report here

Graduate Tracking Study (Phase 1, 2017; Phase 2, 2018; Phase 3, 2019)

Phase 1, 2017; Phase 2, 2018; Phase 3, 2019

GPEx and the University of Adelaide undertook a research project to understand the regional distribution of GPEx graduates within SA. It incorporated the personal and professional factors that may influence a graduate’s future practice location.

View SA Graduate Tracking Study infographic here

GPEx has worked in partnership with WAGPET to drive the replication of this project across a number of RTOs Australia wide, investigating the impact of AGPT on regional GP workforce outcomes.

View combined Graduate Tracking Study infographic here

What Motivates AGPT Graduates to Work in Aboriginal Health Services? (Phase 1, 2018; Phase 2, 2019)

Phase 1, 2018; Phase 2, 2019

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples face considerable discrepancies in their health and wellbeing compared to non-Indigenous populations. A key strategy for addressing these discrepancies is ensuring a strong healthcare workforce is in place. Despite offering placements in Aboriginal Health Services (AHSs) in the AGPT program to GP registrars, there remains a shortage of GPs in this sector. Understanding the factors that have motivated AGPT graduates to pursue a career in Aboriginal health will help improve recruitment to, and retention of, GPs in AHSs.

This project used qualitative interviews to better understand the experiences of GP registrars who have completed AHS placements. Understanding these experiences provides critical information for developing strategies to promote AHS placements and improve future registrars’ experiences in AHSs.

View summary report here 

Burnout in General Practice Registrars (2018 - 2020)

2018 – 2020

Since 2018 GPEx have been supporting our Research Support Officer, Shaun Prentice, to complete research into the important area of GP registrar burnout. Shaun is completing a series of interrelated research projects that aim to develop a clearer understanding of the nature of burnout for GP trainees and to determine prevention strategies.

This includes a systematic review and meta-analysis of the international literature examining burnout levels and patterns in postgraduate medical trainees, a hermeneutic literature review examining GP trainees’ wellbeing, interviews and focus groups with registrars, supervisors, medical educators and PTAs to contextualise findings, and surveys examining how burnout relates to occupational resilience.

These projects will help to inform future directions for us to support our registrars’ wellbeing. This work is being completed in partnership with The University of Adelaide. Short reports and links to published articles for completed projects are available below.

View Burnout Levels and Patterns summary report here

View Correlates of Burnout summary report here 

View Burnout Levels and Patterns report here (Academic Medicine Journal 2020)

Please contact Shaun Prentice for further details about the research and publication.

Developing an Evidence-based, Practical and Contextualised Workplace Based Assessment Framework (2018 - 2019)

2018 – 2019

In late 2018, GPEx was awarded a special Education Research Grant by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) to design a Workplace-based Assessment (WBA) Framework for use within Australian General Practice Training (AGPT). This Framework was completed in collaboration with, Flinders University, EVGPT, GP Synergy, GPTQ, GPTT, MCCC, NTGPE, RVTS and WAGPET. To inform Framework development a literature review; environmental scan; audit of WBAs used within Australian Regional Training Organisations (RTOs) and the Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS); and a series of mixed method research projects were completed.

The findings from this comprehensive project were used to inform the development of an evidence-based, practical and contextualised WBA Framework, which has been delivered to the RACGP. The four essential elements that together make up the Framework are: WBA tools, the assessor, the trainee and the context.

The Framework provides information that can inform the local planning, delivery and review of effective and efficient workplace-based assessment systems.

View WBA Framework report here

View WBA Framework flyer here

View ‘Identifying the at-risk General Practice trainee: a retrospective cohort meta-analysis of General Practice registrar flagging’ article here

Workplace‐based assessments in postgraduate medical education: A hermeneutic review – Interview with Shaun Prentice and Lambert Schuwirth. Listen here

How Do We Measure The Educational Alliance? (2018)


In 2018 GPEx were awarded Education Research Grant by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) to develop and validate a tool to measure the strength of the educational alliance between the GP registrar and GP supervisor from the registrar perspective. This project was completed in collaboration with General Practice Supervisors Association, General Practice Training Tasmania and Monash University. The educational alliance can significantly impact on outcomes for registrars, supervisors, practices, Regional Training Organisations, the Colleges and our community.

This research has validated a tool within the Australian GP context to measure the strength of the educational alliance from the registrar perspective (GP-SRMR). The GP-SRMR is complementary to the previously validated tool to measure from the supervisor perspective (GP-SRMS). This project found that both tools can be delivered more efficiently using computer adaptive testing. The GP-SRMR and the GP-SRMS are both available for access online:

View GP-SRMR here

View GP-SRMS here

View Educational Alliance short report here

View Educational Alliance long report here

View ‘Adaptation and initial examination of the psychometric properties of the Short Supervisory Relationship Questionnaire (SSRQ) for use with general practice registrars’ article here


Registrar Publications

The following are publications resulting from GPEx registrar research:

Antibiotic prescribing for tonsillopharyngitis in a general practice setting

Want to know more about our research projects?
Please contact our team