GPSA Chair Report – October 2023

Lots of hard work… And it’s beginning to pay off!

As the year races along, it remains a busy time for the GPSA community. With this in mind, I will try to keep my report a bit more succinct this month, however there are a number of important issues I want to draw your attention to:

  1. GPSA members finally recognised for providing the educational continuum from medical student to fellowed GP /RG
  2. Conference Season is upon us
  3. GPSA’s Scenario App to launch for the international healthcare / educational community
  4. The importance of this community of practice for the community at large

I thank you for your support of our recent Media Release outlining our reasons to be enheartened by the long-overdue acknowledgement of our GP supervisor and practice team members in the recently published Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand (MDANZ) Position Paper: Doctors our Communities Need: Building, Sustaining and Supporting the General Practice Workforce in Australia and New Zealand.

Throughout this year we have been actively lobbying the Department and other GP organisations, particularly in the forum of the General Practice Training Advisory Committee (GPTAC), for a concerted effort to unify the many and disparate entities involved in pathways leading to vocational GP training. In the fragmented space we’ve endured for far too long, the placement experiences crucial to attracting more medical students and prevocational doctors to a career in general practice / rural generalism have invariably been under-valued and thus under-supported. Changes arising from the AMC’s new supervision framework also make future supervisor disengagement increasingly likely due to new requirements failing to recognise the experience of AGPT-accredited supervision, resulting in unnecessary and time-consuming duplication of PD activities.

When MDANZ published their Position Paper recommending the need for increased exposure to general practice to improve the attractiveness of our specialty, their focus on more and higher quality GP placements for medical students and prevocational doctors – underpinned by an appropriate level of support and remuneration, and greater consistency across the educational spectrum – effectively signalled the very change Carla and I have been advocating for. DOHAC has been very supportive of our work to facilitate greater interaction between MDANZ, CPMEC and the GP specialty Colleges, recognising the value of turning the spotlight on the GP supervisor as best placed to encourage more interest in our profession. Subsequent discussions with MDANZ indicate a strong willingness to work with GPSA, inviting our members to embed their observations and suggestions in a new curriculum for general practice at the university level. This is really very exciting.

Of course October is ‘Conference Season’ for our sector, and we are excited to be participating in a number of conferences around the country. We hope to catch up with you at any or all of the AAPM, RMA23, WONCA, PMEF and AIDA events. See full details of our conference involvement in the body of the newsletter or on our website here.

We have also been working diligently on the development of our Scenario App, scheduled for release in time for RMA23. This mobile app will produce case scenarios and prompts across a range of topics for supervisors to incorporate into their teaching sessions with registrars and students. It promises to be an indispensable educational tool with international application, noteworthy for its origin right here in Australia. Excitingly, all profits generated by this resource will be directed right back into our support of the GP training sector. Who knows, maybe GPSA will be running its own national networking conference for our members before long?

While GPSA has been directing energy into innovation and greater recognition and reward for our members, we all have a role in fighting for our profession. As supervisors and training practice teams we need to ensure that whatever role we play in supervision is performed at the highest level of quality possible, displaying just why general practice is the best medical specialty and one that all doctors should strive for. The trust and value bestowed upon us by our patients reinforces every day how important we are to the community. Ours is probably one of the most difficult specialties in medicine, but it is also one of the most rewarding – especially when we band together as a community of practice and support one another.

Stay strong and keep on keeping on.

Date reviewed: 25 September 2023

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