One of the biggest concerns for many new GP supervisors is feeling like they need to ‘know it all’. With a registrar in the practice, suddenly they may feel like their hitherto hidden knowledge gaps will be exposed, their rudimentary teaching skills critiqued, and their discomfort giving feedback raised to a new level. New supervisors may even worry they will feel like an imposter in the role, especially those only recently graduated who are just getting comfortable with clinical practice.
But just like a new registrar starting out in clinical practice, embarking on this new role does not require freshly minted supervisors to know it all. Far from it, in fact. For example, it is far preferable to model lifelong learning by demonstrating information seeking rather than making up an answer to an unknown clinical query. Supervision knowledge and skills will develop with time, and confidence will grow with each successive registrar placement.
Many existing clinical skills are directly transferable to the supervision role. As GPs providing clinical care to patients on a daily basis, supervisors already have the foundational attributes – communication skills, advocacy, patient/learner-centeredness, curiosity, commitment, a passion for life-long learning, professionalism, organisational skills, and more – on which to build successful supervision.