Dr Linda Mann

Dr Linda Mann was presented a Recognition of Service award by GPSA for her outstanding  commitment as a GP supervisor for 33 years. Linda  has local and overseas medical experience, especially in genetics and women’s health including pregnancy care. She is an examiner for the RACGP and is an experienced medical educator. Linda works in the Your Doctors practice  and at RPAH. 

Linda also makes regular trips to the remote town of Borroloola in Northern Territory 1000km SE of Darwin where she provides supporting medical care. 

GP Supervisor Profile – Dr Linda Mann

What rewards do you see from GP Supervision?
Supervision is the way to ensure that the GP of the future is as good as they can be. It is my privilege to lead doctors learning my craft to a better level of skill and competence. I love knowing that  there are tens of practitioners out in the community, whose practice has been influenced by the teaching they received in the practice I run.  I also like spreading tolerance of new doctors, to my patients, who can have better medical care if they have  exposure to more GPs than just me, while maintaining continuity of care.
What are the key type of things that registrars need to learn?

Registrars need to learn how to be GPs, not hospitalists. The cultural training in hospital, which has political implications of avoidance of bed block, and KPIs for ” efficiency”,  has some relevance in General Practice, where time keeping is also important. But we do not need to rush to solve a problem, usually. We have the benefit of repeated visits, and time to observe the effect of treatment over time. Registrars also need to learn that they carry gravitas as a doctor: billing for their time is appropriate and has value. They often worry that their slowness in practice is not something worth charging for. They need to understand that seeing the doctor ( which they are) is of value, and has value, and can solve the problem.

What type of things do you learn from GP Registrars ?

Registrars come from all sorts of places and training experience. Up to date references and changes of practice are easy  for me to accommodate when I can see these in practice, eg change from warfarin to NOACs when they were introduced back in the day (I was hesitant at the time, having had no direct education: the registrars were very experienced and it was great to learn from them)

What are the challenges of GP Supervision?

GP supervisors grow GPs. We have the challenge of ensuring that the new GP has all the characteristics that we value, and that they have the required standard of knowledge and skill required by the vocational training organisation, the regulators and the patients. We have challenges with ensuring patient comfort when the registrars fall short of the patient’s expectation, eg when the registrar is anxious, or needs support, or simply is not up to the problem, or makes a mistake. We have significant challenges in balancing the books if the registrar is slow to see patients, unpopular or unwilling to bill.

How has GPSA supported you?

GPSA provides really useful organised training modules. GPSA is a voice in the medical political marketplace that represents me as a supervisor, and ensures my issues are front and centre. After all, if we do not train doctors to be GPs, the whole community suffers and preventive and chronic care become fragmented and patchy. Training GPs needs supervisors, and the existence of supervisors is not guaranteed without this organisation calling  out loud and long for the resources we need to keep supervising.

What would you say to others considering becoming a GP Supervisor?

Being a GP supervisor brings the extra dimension to GP work that allows GPs to continue to grow as they work through the decades. I am obliged to stay fresh, to not settle into comfortable and old medical ways. I am stimulated to change how I talk to colleagues and patients, as the registrars I supervise are now older in their life experience, and feel more and more collegiate. This is how you  can work to bring more doctors into General Practice, and the way you can be part of the road they follow to practice good medicine

Date reviewed: 26 March 2024

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