Get organised in your patient consultations
Start consultations with open-ended questions, getting the full list of the patient’s concerns. Prioritise their concerns and book a follow-up appointment if needed. Aim to do all the work for each consult (investigations, prescriptions, referrals and notes) during the consultation to avoid significant after-hours admin. Be on time by allocating periods (15 minutes) without any booked patients, throughout your clinical session.
Be respectful of teaching time
Make sure in-practice teaching is a protected time and you come suitability prepared. Schedule dedicated teaching at the start of a clinical session to ensure that this time is not compromised by consultations running over time. Be the driving force “booking in” the teaching time — don’t leave it up to your supervisor. Discuss what key areas or skills you would like to learn with your supervisor and colleagues. This will help optimise your teaching time. Your colleagues can let you know when a patient of interest come into the clinic. Keep “corridor consults” with your supervisor succinct.
Open, honest and early communication
This is the key to solving most of the issues faced by GP registrars! Don’t delay if you have questions or concerns about any aspect of your training or employment. It is better to have a conversation with your supervisor as early as possible when issues arise. However, if you do need to escalate matters, there are a range of supports, particularly your RLO and GPRA, who can assist.
Optimise your time spent in the clinic seeing patients
During consults, have a method for keeping track of clinical questions that arise. Discuss these questions with your supervisor or look up these questions in your personal study time.
Design a learning plan
Your plan should state your learning needs and goals, and the activities you plan to do in order to achieve those goals. This planning facilitates your self-directed learning, separate to the teaching you receive through your college and during GP training. Your college can provide templates and tools to document learning plans. Ask your medical educator or college training advisor to provide guidance in formulating your plan. Follow any mandatory college requirements for your learning plan.