Research & Policy

Theme 2: Capacity Building & Resilience





Research in this theme is driven by GPSA’s vision to support a thriving and sustainable GP training sector as the cornerstone of Australia’s healthcare system. To do so, we tackle big picture challenges to build capacity and resilience in the GP workforce by attracting doctors to general practice as a speciality of choice. We achieve impact ‘at the coalface’ by translating research into policies that enable, include, and retain those involved in GP training through evidenced-based support and advocacy.

Current Project

Interpersonal Conflict in GP Training

How can conflict in registrar placements be managed or (at the very least) minimised? A joint research project between GPSA, GPRA and Monash University gathered experiences of the sources and context of conflict in the GP registrar–supervisor-practice manager relationship, seeking to uncover ways to resolve or prevent escalation.

This research was conducted via on online survey and both one-to-one and small-group interviews with GP supervisors and practice managers as well as GP registrars. For more information, please email our Director of Research, Dr Samia Toukhsati at

Best practice resources in development as an extension of this study include a guide to proactively address conflict in placements, and a number of tools for use by all members of the practice team.

This study was approved by the Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee (project number 28176). 

This theoretical model was presented at the 27th Prevocational Medical Education Forum of Australia and New Zealand in November 2023.

GPEx, in association with the University of Adelaide and GPSA, recently completed a study on the financial costs and revenue associated with teaching and supervision in Australian general practices. Experienced GP Supervisors and practice managers were asked to complete a short online questionnaire to describe the teaching and administrative activities associated with teaching GP registrars in a practice and the time spent on such activities to determine the cost of these activities. We hope that the results from this research will inform future policy and practice.

Read Executive summary

Read Full Report

This research study was approved by the University of Adelaide Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC-2021-016).

In 2021, GPSA completed a narrative analysis research project interviewing female GP supervisors about the barriers and enablers to women supervising the increasing proportion of female registrars in general practice.

This research was conducted in partnership with Monash University, EV GP Training, and Melbourne University.The research findings present significant issues that intersect to potentially impact the interest and capacity for women to join and be retained in the GP supervision workforce. The findings can be applied to developing more specific resources, supports, and structures to enable women to participate in and sustain GP supervision at the level that they find acceptable and rewarding.


Corresponding publication: O’Sullivan, B., Kippen, R., Wearne, E., et al. Enabling uptake and sustainability of supervision roles by women GPs in Australia: a narrative analysis of interviews. BMC Med Educ 22, 398 (2022).

Ahead of the Transition to College-led training, the 2021 GP Supervisors Australia (GPSA) Annual Survey revealed that 70% of GP supervisor respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with their Regional Training Organisation (RTO).

2021 GPSA National SurveyClick here to download the ful report.

Date reviewed: 17 April 2024

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