GPSA Chair Report – April 2024

Celebrating & Reflecting

March was certainly a month for celebrations and reflection – Harmony Day, International Women’s Day, Holi, St Patricks Day, Ramadan, World Compliment Day, International Day of Happiness, Lent and Easter….

Following the first meeting of the General Practice Training Advisory Committee (GPTAC) in Canberra at the tail end of the month, I can now share yet another reason for GPSA members to reflect and celebrate: the release of the AGPT Program National Report on the 2023 National Registrar Survey | Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care.
For me, the key messages in this report reiterate the vital role the people at the coalface of GP training played in the successful transition to college-led training – and continue to play as the lifeblood of high quality primary care for the Australian community.

The satisfaction of registrars with our members has remained consistently high from 2017 to 2023. Indeed, the analysis by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) of over 1000 open-ended responses in the 2023 survey shows that more than 92% of registrars attributed the best aspects of their training experience to:

  • their current workplace or practice;
  • supervisor and mentor support; and
  • the diversity of patient presentations.

This feedback reinforces the value of GPSA’s commitment to facilitating a supportive and well-structured clinical learning environment for tomorrow’s GP workforce – through our ever-expanding repository of educational resources, our virtual community of practice, the GPCLE quality improvement tool we are currently refining, our upcoming biennial review of the National Terms & Conditions for the Employment of Registrars (NTCER), and even the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) recently signed between GPSA and our sister peak GPRA.

In all the many tables at which GPSA has a seat now, it is a true pleasure to highlight the role supervisors, practice managers and other members of training practices play in the success that we as a profession can claim today and into the future. My job as GPSA Chair is largely focused on advocating for you in your supervision of medical learners and trainees across the educational spectrum. I continually speak to both GP specialty colleges regarding topics our members flag as priorities, such as dual recognition of supervisor professional development and similar efficiencies to ensure minimisation of red tape and maximisation of well-being. To get this right though, we are reliant on your engagement and input.

To this end, you will soon receive an invitation to participate in the GPSA national survey – newly and aptly branded “ENGAGE”. I cannot stress strongly enough the importance of the information you provide through this data collection opportunity: the more you contribute to GPSA research such as this survey, the greater an investment we can make in your future growth and sustainability.

We will soon be launching into the NTCER review – which again is completely reliant on your input to ensure we represent your needs faithfully in this process. The NTCER remains a tool that provides protections for both training practices and registrars, and this year we are looking to enhance it and expand its application to non-traditional contexts such as vocational training pathways outside the AGPT. No doubt you have ideas about improvements at both a big picture and granular level, and we sincerely want to hear about these! Please submit your expression of interest here if you would like to be involved in workshopping the NTCER for 2025-26 with us.

Looking forward to working with you on the key activities lined up for April. Until then, as Yoda would say, “Pass on what you have learned”!

Dr Srishti Dutta

Date reviewed: 28 March 2024

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