General practice training is much shorter than any other specialty, and as a GP registrar you will only work in two or three practices throughout your training. That’s why it’s so important that you recieve quality in-practice teaching to optimise your overall learning experience. You should be aware of your right to in-practice teaching and be empowered to continuously look for ways to improve it. This will ultimately help you make the most out of every placement and learn from the experience, skills and knowledge of each of your supervisors.
GP Registrar and GPTQ Registrars Liaison Officer, Dr Krystyna de Lange has 8 tips for getting the most out of your learning experience.
1. Discuss in-practice teaching before your placement
Before you start at a practice, make sure you ask what teaching looks like and how much you will receive. Consider asking for specific examples of what teaching the current or previous registrars have received. This will help you choose a practice that values registrar teaching.
2. Make sure your teaching time is stipulated in your contract
Teaching should occur during paid hours as per the NTCER.
GPTQ’s in-practice training requirements change based on your stage of training:
GPT1 = 3 hours / week with at least 1 hour of planned, face-to-face, uninterrupted teaching time
GPT2 = 1.5 hours / week with at least 1 hour of planned, face-to-face, uninterrupted teaching time
GPT3 / ES = 1 hour / week.
3. Choose appropriate times for teaching sessions
Schedule teaching sessions at a time when it will not be impacted by either you or your supervisor running late or having to leave early. First thing in the morning or immediately after lunch is often best.
4. Create a learning plan
Ensure topics being covered in your learning plan are relevant to what you want to learn. Work on your weak areas first rather than always coming back to areas you feel confident in.
5. Contextualise theory with real life
Use real patient cases and scenarios and link this with learning points. You will always remember things better if there is a clinical context.
6. Tailor sessions to your learning style
Think about how you learn, tell your supervisor this and tailor sessions to this. Remember this may change as you progress through your training and especially as you approach exams.
7. Think outside the box
Sessions do not have to be purely didactic, whereby the supervisor talks and you listen. Consider presenting a topic yourself so you are motivated to read up on it. Think about going through some random patient cases picked out by the supervisor. Have your supervisor sit in on some consults or vice versa or consider some role plays for difficult cases. Ask if you could have a session with a non-supervisor GP at the practice that may have a special interest area. You could even consider sitting in with the practice nurse or local allied health professional. There are so many options.
8. Don’t be afraid to speak up
It’s important that you speak up and tell your supervisor if you feel teaching could be improved. Improvement requires feedback. If you’re not receiving adequate teaching time as per the GPTQ guidelines, contact Krystyna on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.