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One of the best parts of GP training is the access you get to other doctors. All RTOs (regional training organisations) are slightly different in how they deliver AGPT’s program but at GPTQ, our registrars learn hands-on in a practice under the guidance of a GP supervisor. We also have a group of senior doctors – called medical educators (MEs) – who regularly meet with small groups of registrars.

Here’s four ways medical educators support you throughout your GP training.

1. Medical educators are your guide throughout the AGPT program

Starting your GP training is an exciting time, but it can also be a little daunting as you shift from the hospital to GP practice. Medical educators can support you in this transition. They will guide you through your GP training, helping you thrive both professionally and personally.

MEs educate, train, support and help registrars with fellowship exam preparation. Most MEs work part-time while also practising as GPs.

Dr John Buckley says: “MEs sit between the program on the ground and the bureaucracy above. We try to make sense of curriculum, college and government requirements, and then follow through to ensure our learners are getting what they need. We provide lots of outside practice support too. We can be trouble-shooters, shoulders to cry on or just someone to call as a sounding board.”

ME tasks range from induction meetings with registrars to facilitating small group learning to conducting ECT (external clinical teaching) visits. They’re also involved in developing our education program and sometimes oversee registrars on academic posts.

2. GPTQ registrars meet regularly in small groups, led by a medical educator

Meeting with other registrars regularly provides an opportunity to reflect, problem solve and develop in a safe and supportive environment. You can also learn from each other’s experiences.

John says: “All registrars are assigned to a small education group run by one or two core MEs. You’ll usually meet fortnightly in person or via video conferencing. There are other senior educators who oversee and support your ME so you may deal with them as well. But for the most part, you will have one or two you’re familiar with, particularly during your first year of training.”

Your ME is also available to talk to you outside of these meetings about any other topic related to your training, be it a question about placements, work-life balance or for some help developing your learning and training plans.

3. Medical educators are experienced GPs who want to share their passion

Our medical education team is a skilled and experienced group of doctors, each bringing a unique offering to GPTQ.

John says: “We do a lot of professional development with our educators. This gives them the confidence to sit in a group and let the learning happen. They are encouraged to view themselves as facilitators, rather than being the ones with all the answers.”

This, in turn, teaches you to sit with uncertainty, just like GPs do in practice. It’s a really important skill that encourages brainstorming and problem solving.

4. If you choose the rural pathway, you’ll have a team of experienced rural MEs to call on

Choosing to go rural offers many great benefits. There’s a diversity of patient presentations and training locations plus the chance to embed yourself in a community as one of their most trusted and valued members.

There are, of course, challenges too. That’s why we have a team of experienced rural MEs who are passionate about helping registrars adjust to living and practising in the country. They understand the distinctive nature of rural medicine and are keen to support you in your transition to being a GP in a rural location.