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The year in review – CEO, Christine Cook reflects on 2018

Firstly congratulations to our registrars who passed their final exams in 2018. Your hard work, dedication and commitment has prepared you to practise within your chosen communities. GPEx now has 334 Alumni with whom we enjoy regular engagement in various events and research.

It’s been a busy year in which we have been focussed on supporting our registrars, supervisors and training practices to develop South Australia’s general practice workforce through excellence in training, research, innovation and continuing to forge connections within our community. This year, GPEx has worked collaboratively with the University of Adelaide on a series of research projects, launched GPEx Connect, developed the GP Explore App and supported the development of our Alumni group.

As we all know, carefully designed research studies can help us to identify the factors that influence consumer behaviour and one of the most critical problems within the health sector is the geographic maldistribution of Australia’s medical workforce. This is a persistent challenge, particularly in relation to the shortages of general practitioners in rural and remote Australia. With this in mind, we are committed to facilitating research that will help us to develop a comprehensive understanding of our graduates which we hope will enable us to develop strategies to ensure that rural communities have timely and available access to general practitioners.

The results from our Graduate Tracking Study are now in and if you are interested in reviewing the key findings they are reported in the “Our Graduates are Making a Difference” article.

GPEx has been funded through a competitive special Education Research Grant (ERG) from The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners to lead an Australia-wide project to develop an evidence-based, practical and contextualised Workplace Based Assessment framework for GP training. This is the largest research project funded by the RACGP and it will provide a blueprint for the future delivery of WBA assessment within Australian General Practice.

In February, we celebrated the launching of our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). Our plan provides a map to achieve goals that have been developed organisation wide with the support of our Board. Meintangk and Wotjobaluk woman, Karen Glover, spoke from the perspective of her positions on both the GPEx Board and the RAP Working Group. Karen praised the working group for providing a safe space for staff members to openly discuss Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and to be able to ask questions without feeling uncomfortable, resulting in a highly engaged and productive working group.

GPEx Connect is a free online tool that has been designed to provide South Australian General Practices with an industry-specific job advertising platform. Practice Managers can advertise to their target markets and update their profile in real time. For those of you who haven’t checked out the site already, it connects our general practice workforce on one easy to use platform, so if you are searching for your next career opportunity or looking to have a GP registrar at your practice GPEx Connect can help!

We have also used technology to ensure that GPEx can continue to deliver excellence in training. GP Explore is a mandatory training requirement for all GP community-based registrars. It is an app that enables the simple collection of de-identified patient data, automated reporting and reflection. According to our Supervisor Liaison Officer, Dr Frank Maldari, this innovative new app “bridges the gap between what the registrars are seeing and what they are not”.

As I reflect on 2018 I feel privileged to have worked with so many supportive and dedicated supervisors and practice managers who are the bedrock of primary healthcare across our state.  I thank you for your commitment to training the next generation of GPs. I see many of our fellowed registrars continuing their connection with general practice training as they become supervisors and educators and I know that we are in the best of hands for 2019 and beyond.

I wish you happiness and good health in 2019,

Best regards


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