Published by GPEx on November 22, 2019

CEO Update

2019 is rapidly steaming towards a close, with a flurry of events and information, reflection and planning for the year ahead.
Movember is also in full swing, a quirky way to shine a spotlight upon and raise money for men’s health.

Single Employer model

There is a lot of discussion within the Commonwealth Government level and at the State Government level about the registrar employment model. Particular issues relate to the registrar losing leave entitlements as they move from being a hospital employee to a general practice or other training post employee (not a State Government employee) and any subsequent moves. Changing employer results in the registrar being disadvantaged as they complete AGPT and provide workforce for our communities. This is a complete issue – intersecting commonwealth and state jurisdictions and related legislation with potential impacts on registrars, supervisors and practice owners.

To date the DoH have advised that they are considering various ‘Single Employer’ models and may introduce a pilot program into the future. I am in discussion with governments, GPSA, GPRA and RDAA to try to ensure that all consequences are considered carefully when developing and evaluating models and that any pilot reflects the breadth of training locations and business structures across all GPEx training practices and posts. I will keep you informed of any progress.

Congratulations to Assoc. Professor Jill Benson AM awarded FACRRM

At the recent RMA19 conference GPEx’s Senior Medical Educator Assoc Prof Jill Benson received the award of FACRRM. Assoc Prof Benson achieved FACRRM through the REEF pathway (Rural Experienced Entry to Fellowship) which is designed to provide a pathway to FACRRM for those who have specialist GP registration and significant experience in rural and remote communities. In Jill’s case this was her extensive experience providing services to remote Aboriginal communities.

In addition to Jill, Dr Kari Sims and Dr Philip Cohen were also recognised for gaining FACRRM through the AGPT program with GPEx. We congratulate you all on your achievements and thank you for your service to our rural communities.

Executive Team Riverland Visit

In late October Angela, Simon, Julie and I visited the Riverland to meet with training practices and registrars. These Executive team visits are a regular occurrence and offer a great opportunity for us to really get to know you and better understand the challenges that you face in each of your specific regions. Thanks to the teams at Loxton Health Centre, Berri Medical Clinic, Renmark Medical Clinic, Barmera Medical Clinic and Waikerie Medical Centre for taking time out of your busy schedules to meet with us.

Whilst we are regularly in touch with you in all corners of the state via phone or at workshops, there is nothing better than a face to face meeting in your practices to discover ways in which we can support you better. We look forward to our upcoming visit to the Yorke Peninsula in the next few days.

An extra special thank you must go to the teams at Loxton (Sandy, Jill, Sarah & Andrew) and at Barmera (Samantha, Raphael, Elizabeth, Amir & Mandeep) who allowed our marketing team into their practices to film and capture some great footage to use in promotional materials in the new year. Watch out for the new campaign across our social media channels during the lead up to the next AGPT application period in 2020.

Registrar numbers and 2021 planning

As GPEx had insufficient RACGP and ACRRM applicants for SA training positions in the 2020 first intake, we were advised that the Colleges would hold a second (and final) intake. GPEx is conducting the interview stage for this final intake with 3 ACRRM candidates interviewing for a total of 8 positions, 14 RACGP rural pathway candidates interviewing for 40 positions and 20 RACGP general pathway candidates interviewing for 18 positions. Offers for the final intake will be completed by 6 December 2019, with final placements being made shortly after.

We are now turning to focus on our campaign for the 2021 intake. We are currently reviewing our 2020 campaign strategies and activities to see how we can increase awareness among prevocational doctors about our training program and the opportunities available throughout rural and urban South Australia.

Recognising that there needs to be an increased awareness of general practice as a career, we will also be focusing on enhancing our engagement with medical students throughout 2020 including expanding our rural practice Exposure program to 3 additional regions.

SA Leading the way– RACGP National Awards

A heartful congratulations to our colleagues who received honours at the recent RACGP National Awards, which were held in Adelaide late October. You may have seen the media reports or heard our award winners being interviewed on ABC radio on the Eyre Peninsula or in the Riverland, however we wish to again acknowledge the remarkable achievements of these individuals from our GPEx community;

  • Former GPEx Registrar, Dr David Lam. RACGP – GP of the Year
  • Current GPEx Supervisor, Dr Raphael Torome. RACGP – Supervisor of the Year
  • Current GPEx Supervisor and former RACGP Censor in Chief , Dr Mark Miller. RACGP – Rose Hunt Award
  • Current GPEx Accredited Training Practice, Hawkins Medical Clinic, Mt Gambier. RACGP – Practice of the Year

Dr David Lam is now a fellowed GP practicing at the Lincoln Medical Centre on the Eyre Peninsula. David was first introduced to rural general practice during his placement as a fifth-year medical student. He then returned to Port Lincoln in 2016-2017 while undertaking his GP Registrar training with GPEx and has returned to Port Lincoln to continue his passion as a rural GP. We look forward to David joining the GPEx team in 2020.

“To the credit of the (AGPT) program, that (rural placement) year is what made me want to become a rural GP” David says

Dr Raphael Torome has been involved in General Practice training at the Barmera Medical Clinic for almost twenty years, initially accredited as a supervisor in 2008. A supportive, knowledgeable and highly respected mentor and supervisor, Raph is heavily involved in the orientation of junior registrars into practice, through to supporting registrars as they prepare for exams.

“Dr Torome’s commitment to training and mentoring is second to none, his style gives registrars freedom to push themselves and learn and make independent decisions while feeling 100% supported.”

Dr Mark Miller was awarded the Rose-Hunt Award, the highest accolade presented by the RACGP to a Fellow or member who, in the opinion of Council, has rendered outstanding service in the promotion of the objects of the RACGP, either by individual patient care, organisation, education, research or any other means.

Since 2002, Dr Mark Miller has supervised 32 GPEx registrars, personally teaching, supporting and mentoring our GPs of the future. The Goolwa Medical Clinic, where Mark has been practicing for 27 years, has supervised 46 registrars over the same period.

Mark’s award recognises his role in creating good health outcomes for the Goolwa community and nationally over the past three decades.

The Hawkins Medical Centre, in recognising its excellent facilities for both patients and staff, and the breadth of services provided to patients, the practice was awarded the General Practice of the Year Award. The practice’s long-standing dedication to general practice teaching for medical students, junior doctors and registrars has made the somewhat daunting transition from hospital to practice more manageable for many registrars. We acknowledge the team at Hawkins for both their significant contribution to GP training and their positive impact on local Mt Gambier community.

While the shortage of GPs is well documented, our GPEx community is leading the way in training right across our great state of South Australia. Importantly our registrars, the GPs of the future, are being mentored and supported by an outstanding network of supervisors, medical educators and highly respected practice teams across the state. By continuing to work together we will achieve positive outcomes for rural workforce by supplying a pipeline of excellently trained GPs who can continue supporting and promoting health and well-being in all our South Australian communities.

Fellowship Pathways for IMGs – Ellen Mills – Coordinator Selection & Placements

The Practice Experience Program (PEP) was developed by the RACGP to provide non-VR GP’s with an education program designed to support them on their way to Fellowship with the College. From 2022 onwards, all doctors must be enrolled in an approved RACGP program in order to be eligible to complete the RACGP Fellowship exams. In South Australia, the PEP is delivered and supported by of a GPEx Program Training Advisor and a team of GPEx Medical Educators. The PEP participants are provided with support and resources as they work through the self-directed education program. GPEx PEP participants participate in direct observations, attend clinical case analysis workshops, complete a 360-degree feedback assessment and have access to our GPEx Excel webinar and workshop series as well as our online exam resource, GPEx Exams Collective. The PEP is currently being delivered by GPEx to a cohort of six non-VR GP’s throughout South Australia, with a further seven due to commence in January 2020.

Orientation and Induction – Dr Simon Hay – Deputy Director, Medical Education & Training

Orientation to a new workplace is always important. At the PM workshop Dr Penny Need chaired a panel discussion where practice managers Julie Lewcock, Michelle Fiegert and Jacky Genesin discussed the orientation of GP registrars in their practices.

Some of the interesting points that were discussed included;

  • A gradual orientation over a number of weeks
  • Ensuring practice software orientation occurs
  • Orientation to the local area
  • Ensuring GP registrars know how they should seek help from their supervisor
  • Spending time with all members of the practice team
  • Ensuring GP registrars feel part of the practice team
  • Providing a list of local specialists to help with referral pathways

There were many other areas discussed in what was an interesting session which reinforced the importance of a comprehensive orientation. An orientation checklist from GPSA was provided to assist practices, available here:

For more information about any of the topics above, please contact our team.

GPEx re-accreditation with RACGP – your feedback is important

GPEx is currently undertaking RACGP re-accreditation and, as part of that, we ask for your feedback with the Stakeholders survey.

Please lookout for this in your inboxes in the coming weeks, we look forward to sharing your feedback with the College when several of its team visit GPEx on December 18th.

Do get in touch with me or any of the GPEx team if you have questions about any of the above-mentioned topics.

Best Regards