Home' GP Pulse : GP Pulse July 2014 Contents ISSUE 35 : July 2014 : P1
Dr Tim Malloy
What drives our teachers?
This month, we introduce a brand new segment to the newsletter – a
GP profile section, which we’ve aptly named Your Time Starts Now. It
gives a nod to the famous Mastermind game show and fearsome line of
questioning, which contestants were allowed to attempt to answer once
the presenter uttered the eminent phrase “your time starts now”. In this
new section, we’ll put some of our GPs in the hot seat and ask them the
hard questions about working in general practice.
The GP Conference is now upon us, and I am very much looking forward
to attending the event. We’ve got some fantastic keynote speakers,
practical sessions, research presentations, international perspectives, and
colleague-led discussions. I hope to see many of you there.
We are sometimes asked by non-teaching practices around the country
about the benefits of becoming a teacher to GP trainees. Good practice-
based learning is a crucial component of general practice training, and
teachers have a significant influence upon the development of every
We are very fortunate to have
a number of dedicated and
enthusiastic teachers, many of
whom say the process of teaching
encourages fuel for their own
learning, allowing them to keep
in touch with new developments
and improve the efficiency of
their practices. A number of them
also say it has led to improved job
satisfaction by knowing that they’re
helping with the recruitment of future GPs, not to mention the fact that
trainees can positively contribute to practices by spending longer periods
of time with patients and supporting patients at other appointments.
In this edition of GP Pulse, we ask some existing teachers to share their
insights into the benefits teaching has for them and their practice.
Helen Morgan-Banda, CEO
Delivering on training
At the Education Convention in May, I discussed the need for the College
to evolve its training model to address the challenges general practice will
face over the coming years. Approximately 40 percent of our GPs intend
to retire over the next 10 years. This big workforce shift will affect trainees,
educators, practice teachers, practices and – ultimately – the public.
However, on the supply side in the next few years, our medical schools
will be producing a greater number of graduates, and the College has
just received a record number of applications for its GPEP training
programme which begins in December this year. This increase in
applicants has come at a time when the programme has gone through a
significant evolution aimed at making it more attractive to junior doctors.
The Government recently announced additional funding of $3.8 million
to increase funded places available in the General Practice Education
Programme (GPEP) up to 170. This increased funding, combined with
this year’s very gratifying rise in applications, presents us with a huge
opportunity. The College is seizing the moment with both hands –
looking at how we can get more young doctors to choose general
practice and how we can get more members teaching.
The work the College under took last year to review the delivery of our
training programme, while not creating any immediate change, has created
a platform to potentially evolve our programme to allow us to more readily
take on a greater number of trainees in the coming years with a mixed
or blended training delivery model. And, in suppor t of this, the College
recently issued an Expressions of Interest (EOI) document to PHOs and
practices seeking information about
the training capacity and capability of
practices around New Zealand.
The idea is that many teaching
practices will continue to offer
teaching in the same way they do now,
with a single registrar in a practice
with one teacher; but, at the same
time, we are looking to see if some
practices could take more students and registrars and have one or two
teachers supervising a larger group of students. I already do a form of this
in my practice and it works well.
I want to emphasise at the outset that this does not mean we value
the traditional teaching model any less or that it is under threat. We do
value it, and this option will remain. But if we are going to get a lot more
doctors training as general practitioners over the next few years – and
we have to – then we need to look at new ways of doing this.
The evidence is clear – if we can give medical students at all stages
quality experiences in general practice, they are much more likely to
consider it as a career. We need to offer them high-quality learning
experiences that open their eyes to the challenges and complexity that
goes with becoming an expert generalist.
Dr Tim Malloy, President
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