Common concerns in GP training

While many GP registrars go through training without experiencing problems, you may encounter issues during your training.

Here are some common GP registrar concerns, and our suggestion on who is the best person to contact.

Employment agreements

Accreditation standards for all training practices require that the terms and conditions in a GP registrar’s employment agreement must not be less than the National Terms and Conditions for the Employment of Registrars (NTCER) minimum. One of the most common GP registrar concerns is the terms and conditions of a registrar’s employment agreement not being honoured, or not meeting the NTCER minimum.

What to do if you have employment agreement concerns
GPRA can clarify the interpretation of the NTCER and provide advice on what may be in breach. Your RLO and RTO can also provide support and advice. If appropriate have an open, direct discussion with your supervisor or practice manager.

Pay

Common issues for GP registrars include late pay, insufficient remuneration, and issues with calculating billing percentages. The NTCER can provide some clarity and guidance on the minimum entitlements.

What to do if you have pay concerns
GPRA can help clarify the interpretation of the NTCER. If appropriate, have an open, direct discussion with your supervisor or practice manager. Your RLO can also support you.

Leave

Ensure you discuss any planned leave before starting at a practice, and that all negotiated items agreed upon are put in writing—ideally in your employment agreement. This includes your rostering, ordinary hours of work, on-call hours and more.

What to do if you have concerns with your leave
Talk to your supervisor or practice manager about your leave requests; your RLO can help facilitate difficult conversations.

Patient load

While the recommended patient numbers vary between the RTOs, a safe number may be two patients per hour for a first term registrar, then working your way up to three to four patients per hour. However, if your patient numbers are too low, this can be cause for concern because you may not be getting sufficient experience and remuneration.

What to do if you have patient load concerns
Talk to your supervisor and your medical educator. Your RLO can also provide advice and support.

Fatigue management

Make sure you have your own GP. Take regular breaks and take annual leave when possible.

What to do if you have fatigue management concerns
If you are experiencing burnout or fatigue, seek assistance from your supervisor, RLO and/or medical educator. Your RLO can facilitate a difficult conversation, and your medical educator is there to aid a safe and healthy training experience. Doctor's Health Service can provide confidential support and have many free resources to assist you.

Education

Common GP registrar educational concerns include in-practice education, corridor consults, or educational release. Remember, supervisors are provided funding and agree with the RTO to provide set protected education time each week.

What to do if you have education concerns
Talk to your RLO, RTO, supervisor and/or medical educator.

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The NTCER covers the terms and conditions of GP Registrars' employment.