Dr Sultan’s Quest to ensure each registrar reaches their potential

GP registrars under Dr Mohammed Sultan’s supervision experience a prime example of cradle-to-grave care in a small community.

In one instance, Dr Sultan treated up to four generations of one family – and happily accepted the family’s invitation to attend a milestone celebration for the family’s oldest member.

As the treating GP until the patient moved into a nursing home at 99, Dr Sultan had little hesitation in clearing his calendar to attend his former patient’s 100th birthday.

“We are a family orientated clinic, treating a few generations of some families,” Dr Sultan said from his clinic in Gatton, Queensland.

“This was my first experience of a patient under my care reaching 100 and I was pleased to be there with his family to celebrate his 100th birthday in 2016.”

Family Health Gatton serves a rural population in the Lockyer Valley, about 90km west of Brisbane, and has a wide demographic base in age, gender and medical conditions treated.

Dr Sultan, who trained and graduated in South Africa has practised in Australia for 20 years, and has supervised GPs for about 12 years.

In this time he has supervised between 20 to 25 registrars, and is a recipient of the GPSA Recognition of Service Award (10-plus years).

“It’s absolutely enjoyable to help young doctors grow and mature into great doctors; seeing them along their journey and knowing you have contributed to their learning as a GP,” Dr Sultan said.

“I always say to my young registrars that they probably know a lot of theory of medicine being fresh from uni, but I’m here to share my experiences as a GP, and teach them the practicalities of general practice along with the business and relationships required for them to ultimately be the best doctor he or she can be for every patient under their care.”

Dr Sultan said his journey as a supervisor was prompted by the excellent training he received as a medical student and young doctor in South Africa “from an amazing group of educators and consultants”.

Having trained in an environment where the learner is shown the procedure once, replicates the procedure, and pays the knowledge and skills forward to future doctors underpins Dr Sultan’s motivation to supervise registrars.

“My motivation to supervise is to educate the future community of doctors to be better skilled and knowledgeable of general practice.”

While supervising the future generation of doctors was a rewarding journey, Dr Sultan said it also brought challenges.

He said these challenges included dealing with different levels of knowledge and skill sets among new registrars, helping registrars better understand the transition from a hospital environment to GP setting, and dealing with the different administrative roles.

Dr Sultan’s advice for other supervisors?

“Patience with new registrars; share practice tricks and tips; and make sure that you pass on education of management of GP business and also employee responsibilities, as they differ so much to hospital.”


Date reviewed: 20 July 2022

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