A Practice Manager’s scheduling tips for new GP Registrars

Margaret is a practice manager who works at a busy urban practice in Brisbane. She carefully manages the schedules of GP supervisors and new GP registrars to make sure that each has enough time for learning, teaching and seeing patients.

Below are her tips for helping the GP supervisor and GP registrar’s days run smoothly during the GP registrar’s first week in a new practice.



1. Schedule time for the GP supervisor to spend with the GP registrar.

Block out the GP supervisor’s morning on the GP registrar‘s first day of work. This gives the GP supervisor a chance to go through the practice software system and make sure the GP registrar knows how to use it.


2. Schedule time with the practice nurses.

Block out time in the morning to spend with the nurses so the GP registrar can become familiar with the treatment room. It also helps the GP registrar get to know more of the team and how things work.


3. Schedule first patients for GP registrar to see with the GP supervisor.

Towards the end of the morning, book a few ‘on the day‘ patients for the GP supervisor. The GP registrar can sit in on the consultation and add notes on the computer.


4. Schedule first patients for GP registrar to see alone.

After lunch, and if the GP registrar is feeling comfortable, book their first patient. It can help to book one patient, then a space, then one patient and another space and so on. This gives the GP registrar time to catch up in between patients.


5. Arrange time for de-brief with the GP supervisor.

At the end of the day, it helps if the GP registrar has a meeting, even informal, with the GP supervisor to talk about how the day went and to ask any questions or raise concerns.


6. Gradually build up patient bookings.

On the second day and if the GP registrar is feeling comfortable, you may want to book two patients and then a space and so on. Ask the GP registrar how many free slots they think they‘ll need per hour and adjust during the week as the GP registrar progresses. It‘s important not to put too much pressure on them and make sure they are seeing a comfortable amount of patients.


Practicalities to consider

When setting up your new learner, here’s some practical things you need to consider to help them get settled quickly. The more prepared you are for the arrival of your GP registrar, the more welcome they will feel. The more welcome they feel, the quicker they are likely to learn and become proficient.

Medical administration

Check that your registrar has their Medicare provider number. You might want to ensure you have this prior to their first day. It is the GP registrar’s responsibility to ensure this is in place. We have more information on the Medical Provider Number Application process which is managed by the Australian Government’s Department of Human Services.

Work space

Provide the office necessities, such as a room, desk, chair, computer, telephone, stationery and name badges.

Let the Team know!

If the team know who to expect on the GP registrar’s first day and the intention to make them feel welcome is articulated from management, chances are the tone for a positive experience will have been set. It’s confronting to start working in a new foreign environment, where you’re unexpected and there is no planned ‘on boarding’. Remember, if you don’t orientate a new-start member, someone else will… do you really want to leave orientation to chance?

Private review area

Make sure there is a quiet room available for the GP supervisor to hold reviews with your learner and assess their goals.

Processes, policies and procedures

Make sure your registrar is aware of all practice policies and procedures, such as tests and test results, referrals, admission to hospital, after-hours arrangements, patient follow-up, sterilisation, S8 medications, waste disposal, social media policies, bullying and harassment policies, etc.

Contact numbers

Get together a list of the practice’s key contacts. It could contain names and numbers of key practice personnel, nearby hospitals, specialists and relevant allied health organisations.



Date reviewed: 05 October 2021

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