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the year in review


Introduction from the Chairman and the CEO 2012 will be remembered as another year of growth, change and significant achievement for NCGPT.

This year also saw the development of NCGPT’s three year (2013 – 2015) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Training Strategy – a commitment by NCGPT toward closing the gap on Indigenous disadvantage. Our strategy, supported by GPET’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Training funding, was developed in close consultation with the five Aboriginal Medical Services (AMS) which are accredited to host our GP registrars. NCGPT is committed to supporting the

During the year we had more doctors training on the north coast than ever before – an amazing 191 doctors at various stages of their training were enrolled in our programs. At the start of the year we welcomed 41 new GP registrars and we were once again impressed with the quality of candidates who are choosing our training program and to make the sea change to the beautiful North Coast. We also welcomed more training practices, more new supervisors, more junior doctors on our Prevocational GP Placement Program (PGPPP) and more Overseas Trained Doctors. In order to manage our growing programs and continue to provide the high quality education and training NCGPT John Langill, CEO and Dr David Gregory, Chair prides itself on, we welcomed seven new members to the region’s AMSs to provide registrars with team - NCGPT now boasts 36 fantastic opportunities to gain valuable experience and committed staff. in Aboriginal Health. By developing In March, our board had the opportunity strong and respectful relationships with to meet with Directors and members of the AMSs and through the delivery of GPET’s Executive Management team who quality, culturally appropriate training travelled to Ballina to see and hear for support, we hope to increase the number themselves about the important work of GP placements in AMSs throughout that we are doing across our region. The our region. meeting was a unique occasion to share During the year we also began planning ideas and to reaffirm our commitment our Overseas Trained Doctor National to work in partnership with our primary Education and Training (OTDNET) funding body to achieve the outcomes program – a new GPET funded initiative expected from our programs. which provides specialised medical During the year NCGPT underwent education and tailored training and a rigorous GPET accreditation review support for overseas trained doctors. for the Australian General Practice This year also saw the establishment of Training Program (AGPT) and passed the NSW Rural Generalist Program for with flying colours. Not only did we implementation in 2013. seek re-accreditation with GPET, we Throughout 2012 16 doctors undertook also underwent accreditation with NSW procedural and extended skills training HETI for our Prevocational GP Training through the NSW Rural GP Procedural Program. We were delighted to see this Training Program and our first surgery program expand under the direction of a trainee successfully completed their new PGPPP Program Manager. training at Grafton Hospital. NCGPT also supported two of our registrars to apply for academic terms to begin in 2013 and we look forward to following and supporting their journey. In October we welcomed more than 70 delegates from around the country and New Zealand for the Anaesthesia 2012: Current Themes the year in review

Conference in Byron Bay. Presentations, workshops, problem based learning sessions and simulated exercises using a $1.2 million Sim Lab were delivered by some of the nations’ key experts in the fields of Anaesthesia and Ultrasound. With exceptional reviews from attendees, there are now plans in place for another conference in 2014. So, as you can see, 2012 was another incredibly busy and productive year here at NCGPT. But, if all of that wasn’t enough, we had come to the conclusion early in the year that we had finally outgrown our Ballina offices. As a result, to top off the year, in November we seized an opportunity to take over new and larger premises just down the street from our old office. Importantly, the new office provides plenty of scope for the team to grow as our programs expand in the future. Speaking of the team, the key to our continuing success over this past year has been the dedication and hard work of the wonderful collection of individuals at NCGPT. We are blessed with a team of 13 outstanding medical educators who are supported by an experienced administration team. No doubt, none of our successes would have been possible without the commitment and support of our GP supervisors and their training practices. As ever, we are also grateful to all of the fantastic doctors who have chosen to train with us. We look forward to continuing to support you to achieve your goals and helping you become competent and confident GPs who will provide exceptional healthcare to our regional communities. At the end of our tenth year of training, we welcome the coming new year with renewed energy and enthusiasm. Yes, we’ve grown a lot over the past few years, but our commitment to delivering personalised and supportive training to every one of the doctors on our programs remains unchanged. We look forward to demonstrating that commitment all over again next year!

Dr David Gregory (Chair)

John Langill (Chief Executive Officer)


A Year for Partnerships In a significant development for the region and the organisation, in 2012 NCGPT became a foundation member of the new North Coast Medicare Local (NCML). The Medicare Local was funded from 1 March 2012 and NCGPT looks forward to supporting the Medicare Local to establish a highly effective organisation that will support the delivery and coordination of primary care services to our regional communities. Throughout 2012 NCGPT worked with many others involved in medical education in our region to facilitate integration of GP education and training. In 2012, we partnered with the North Coast Medicare Local, the four GP Networks and Divisions, the Northern Rivers University Centre for Rural Health, the UNSW Rural Clinical Schools, the Northern NSW and Mid North Coast Local Health Districts, the Integrated Clinical Teaching Networks (ICTN) and our dedicated training practices to deliver integrated education and training opportunities to medical students, prevocational doctors, GP registrars and GPs. As medical student and registrar numbers increase in coming years it will be important to continue this work in order to maintain and expand the training capacity of general practice into the future.

Australian General Practice Training 2012 marked the final year of NCGPT’s current three year contract with General Practice Education and Training to deliver the Australian General Practice Training program. The program was fully subscribed once again in 2012 with all 40 training places filled by excellent candidates. The AGPT program continues to grow rapidly with this year’s intake NCGPT and the GPET Accreditation Team

Bush medicine walk with Dr John Duroux

representing a 66% increase over 2010. This is an outstanding outcome for the communities of the north coast and we will continue to advocate for additional training places for future intakes. In 2012, over 120 GP registrars, at different stages of their training, were engaged in our registrar training program. Across the region, 115 GP supervisors in 50 accredited training practices provide the day to day teaching and supervision that forms the backbone of our registrar training program. We are pleased that once again in 2012, 100% of the NCGPT registrars surveyed indicated they were satisfied or very satisfied with the quality of our training program. This result is an incredible reflection on the quality of the training experience our registrars receive in their training practices and through our in-house programs. In August, GPET’s Accreditation Review Team came to town and spent three days with us looking at, and learning about, how we structure and deliver our AGPT program. During the visit the Review Team met with groups of our registrars, supervisors, practice managers and medical educators as well as interviewing various senior staff and regional stakeholders. When we received their report, we were very pleased to have received unconditional accreditation for the next three years.

In December GPET offered NCGPT the next three year contract for the period 2013 – 2015 and we look forward to welcoming the 45 new GP registrars that successfully applied to join our program in January 2013.

NCGPT Aboriginal Health Training Strategy 2013-2015 NCGPT takes very seriously our responsibility to help improve access to quality health care for the Aboriginal communities in our region. The NCGPT Aboriginal Health & Training Strategy developed in 2012 aims to contribute to ‘Closing the Gap’ on Aboriginal health disadvantage by delivering a quality program which supports Aboriginal Medical Services (AMSs) and their Registrars. The Strategy was developed with the management, supervisors and registrars at the five accredited training AMSs including Durri (Kempsey), Galambila (Coffs Harbour), Bullinah (Ballina), Bulgarr Ngaru (Grafton) and the Casino AMS. We also received valuable input and support from the Many Rivers AMS Alliance and Gurgun Bulahnggelah in Lismore. Our strategy is supported by GPET’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Training funding, however many of the initiatives now form an integral part of our core business. We have developed a strategic plan that covers a number of major initiatives on which we will focus our efforts and resources over the next three years. These include: Supporting Supervisor Sustainability and Wellbeing; Creating Supportive Registrar Learning Environments; Engaging Our Stakeholders and Collaborations; Promoting Aboriginal Health Training Opportunities to registrars and others; AMS Capacity Building: Infrastructure, Educational Resources, Vertical Integration and Shared Training; Developing a Strong and Consistent Program of Cultural Mentorship and Building NCGPT’s Cultural Accessibility.


The program provides much needed professional, personal and social supports to overseas trained doctors who are often working in isolated and challenging situations. NCGPT continues to advocate for additional funding and support for this important group of doctors. In December NCGPT was successful in securing funding through GPET’s new Overseas Trained Doctor National Education and Training program (OTDNET). OTDNET is a new Federal Government initiative that will help NCGPT support up to 20 overseas trained doctors working towards gaining their specialist (General Practice) registration. NCGPT expects to begin enrolling doctors in the OTDNET program in early 2013. PGPPP Doctors at Orientation Day

Prevocational General Practice Placements Program (PGPPP) Through our Prevocational GP Placements Program a total of 28 hospital-based junior doctors were placed in 10 week training terms throughout the region in 2012 which represented substantial growth (40%) on the previous year. The feedback from the junior doctors participating in the program has been overwhelmingly positive with all reporting they had an excellent experience in general practice. The program is paying dividends with seven of our 2013 AGPT candidates having completed a PGPPP term. Following the completion of the Health Education and Training Institute (HETI) accreditation review in July, NCGPT was issued with unconditional accreditation until 2015. HETI’s accreditation review process included discussions with the training posts and their supervisors and the Junior Medical Officer (JMO) Managers and Directors of Prevocational Education and Training (DPET’s) at the regional feeder hospitals. This achievement reflects the strong relationships that we continue to foster with the training practices and feeder hospitals.

education. This significant research by NCGPT’s Director of Training, Dr Christine Ahern, medical educators Dr Peter Silberberg and Dr Rob Trigger, and Dr van de Mortel is delivering valuable insights to inform future approaches to training in the general practice setting. The results are now available and to date two academic papers have been published in the Australian Family Physician Journal and the Education for Primary Care Journal. During the year NCGPT began collaborating with the North Coast Medicare Local, the Northern NSW Local Health District and local clinicians to develop a research project which looks at ways to streamline palliative care management in the primary care setting. It is expected that a pilot program involving NCGPT GP registrars will commence in early 2013. Also, during the year two new research grants had been secured; one from Health Workforce Australia and the other from the RACGP. These grants will help support our ongoing focus on developing the organisation’s research program. To round off a busy year for research we have also confirmed placements for two registrars taking up academic posts in 2013.

Overseas Trained Doctors Focused on Research Strong research outcomes were achieved in 2012. Dr Thea van de Mortel, our Research Director, was appointed in late 2011 to help NCGPT develop our research program and capacity. This year saw the completion of the two GPET funded ($245,000) research projects which investigated the use and effectiveness of vertically integrated models of medical

NCGPT once again received funding in 2012 from the NSW Rural Doctors Network under their Preparing Eligible Doctors for Fellowship Program to support 38 overseas trained doctors working in practices across our region. Of these, 16 doctors were from the Mid North Coast area, 9 from the Northern Rivers, 11 from Hastings Macleay and 2 from the Tweed Valley.

Anaesthesia 2012: Current Themes NCGPT was pleased to host the second in a series of specialist events for GP Anaesthetists, Anaesthesia 2012: Current Themes. Held at the Byron at Byron Resort from 20 – 21 October, this conference included presentations from some of Australia’s leading Anaesthetists explaining the latest advances in anaesthesia, as well as hands on workshops and problem based learning discussions. A strong focus was placed on applied learning which was made possible by Southern Cross University who made their $1.2 million Mobile Simulation Vehicle available for the conference. State of the art equipment was also supplied by Sponsors: GE Health, Sonosite and LMA Pac Med. Simulation Lab at Anaesthesia 2012


The conference was attended by more than 70 delegates from WA, VIC, SA, TAS, NSW and QLD; more than doubling the attendance numbers from the previous event in 2010. Feedback from the event was overwhelmingly positive and plans for the next conference in 2014 are underway.

“I spent two days at my assigned practice, and I learned so much in those two days, more than I would’ve learnt from reading a textbook or listening to lectures.” “I spent two full days with my registrar and the insights I gained are invaluable. It allowed me to see the real side of general practice for myself and I gained

GP the Musical

First Wave scholarship students from UNE, Armidale

GPSN First Wave Program The General Practice Students Network’s (GPSN) First Wave program allows medical students to experience a career in General Practice by providing them with a taste of what life would be like as a GP. Five first and second year medical students from The University of New England in Armidale participated in the GPSN First Wave Scholarship Program with NCGPT in 2012. From their feedback we are pretty sure the program is hitting the mark: “My First Wave experience was definitely one of the highlights of my 2nd year studying Medicine.”

an awareness of the complexities of interdisciplinary and long term care.” Through the program, the students spent three days in a local training practice under the care and guidance of one of our experienced registrars, visited an Aboriginal Medical Service and were given a taste of how NCGPT training works by attending a full day registrar education release. NCGPT looks forward to supporting more students to experience the realities of daily life as a working GP in 2013.

Rural NSW GP Procedural Training NCGPT’s strong Rural NSW GP Procedural Training Program, funded by the NSW Health Education and Training Institute (HETI), continues to offer GP registrars and GPs opportunities to gain valuable procedural skills and experience in Emergency Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Anaesthetics, Surgery and Mental Health in accredited training posts across the region. Throughout the year, 16 doctors commenced or continued in their posts with 5 positions filled by GPs and 11 by GP registrars. Placements were at Lismore, Tweed Heads, Grafton and Coffs Harbour Base Hospitals. We were excited to see our first Surgery Trainee complete his training at Grafton Hospital this year. >

NCGPT Medical Educator Dr Genevieve Yates launched the world premiere of GP the Musical at the 2012 GPET Convention in Melbourne. Written by Dr Yates and Beyond GP’s Gerard Ingham the Musical featured a talented cast of medical educators, including NCGPT’s very own Director of Training, Christine Ahern, who took time out from their usual day jobs to sing, act and dance about their life as a GP. GP the Musical celebrated the humour, pathos and colourful characters that inhabit our waiting rooms. It’s portrayal of an ordinary day in practice put to music brought down the house at the GPET Convention. After rave reviews, GP the Musical will appear on the bill of the 2013 Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

NCGPT Medical Educator and Supervisor honoured by the NSW Rural Doctors Network The NSW Rural Doctors Network paid tribute in 2012 to 16 general practitioners across New South Wales for their long standing contribution to the medical profession. The annual Rural Medical Service Awards recognises service of 35 years or more to the people of rural, regional and remote NSW. NCGPT Supervisor, Dr Michael Pelmore from Mullumbimby who has practised in regional Australia for 36 years; and NCGPT Medical Educator, Dr Nicola Foster, recognised for 35 years of medical service to rural and regional communities, were among those honoured.


NCGPT Launches Mobile Site

Registrar Satisfaction Survey Results

The rise of the smartphone has led to significant numbers of people accessing websites from their mobile devices. To stay ahead of the curve and ensure that we are communicating effectively with our registrars and stakeholders, NCGPT launched its mobile site in 2012. New navigation systems and forms were developed to ensure the most user friendly mobile web experience.

The results from GPET’s annual Registrar Satisfaction Survey which allows RTPs to compare their individual results with national average scores, were released in October 2012. Once again, NCGPT received excellent feedback from our registrars on the quality and delivery of our training programs. • 100% of registrars felt that the training provided was relevant to their needs and expectations; • 100% of registrars expressed satisfaction with their training posts;

the year in review

NSW Rural Generalist Program The first intake of registrars to the new NSW Rural Generalist Program were recruited in 2012 and positions in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and

Mobile Site

NCGPT Supervisor of the Year The 2012 Supervisor of the Year: Dr Lynne Davies, Tintenbar Medical Centre. Long Service Awards: Dr John Moran, King Street Medical Centre and Dr Peter Fletcher, Durri AMS.

New Digs NCGPT bid farewell to its old office in 2012 and is now pleased to call 106108 Tamar Street, Ballina home. Our new premises are large and light with a separate training room and lunch room. Although we were sad to leave our cosy little cottage, crowding in the corridors is no longer an issue for staff who have all found their fitness levels have greatly improved since relocating to larger premises.

2012 NCGPT Registrar Cohort

Anaesthetics were filled at Tweed Hospital ready for commencement in 2013. The Rural Generalist Program, also funded by NSW HETI, aims to provide a structured and well supported career pathway for young doctors wanting to gain valuable procedural skills while also pursuing general practice training.

• 100% of registrars were happy with the educational content and the quality of Medical Educators at our workshops; • 100% were happy with the diversity of delivery of workshop content; • 100% expressed satisfaction with the overall training program. Whilst there is always room for improvement, we are very proud of, and inspired by, these results.

A morning surf before the Foundations of GP workshop


Frank (ly) speaking....

Horsin’ around at the GPET Conference

GPET Conference 2012 The 11th annual GPET Convention was held in September at the Sebel Albert Park in Melbourne. More than 600 delegates representing the Australian General Practice community gathered to exchange knowledge, ideas and experiences around the opportunities and challenges facing GP education and training. NCGPT was well represented at the conference with presentations given by Dr Peter Silberberg, Dr Thea van de Mortel, Dr Christine Ahern, Dr Rob Trigger and Sue Sladden. Dr Hilton Koppe and Dr Peter Silberberg delivered a workshop and Bruce Barling, along with Amanda Shoebridge, contributed a poster display. Fascinators, frocks and fillies were the order of the day at the Convention Dinner where the Fashions on the Field were nothing short of fabulous! Special thanks must go to NCGPT Registrar Liaison Officer (RLO), David Chessor, who donned a 30 kilo horse suit and Supervisor Liaison Officer (SLO), John Vaughan, who dressed NCGPT Staff Christmas Party 2012

to the nines as our somewhat racy horse trainer. They were both fantastic sports and took to the fashion field to help raise money for the Coote Children Education Fund.

New Staff To help support our growing organisation seven new staff members were welcomed to the NCGPT family in 2012. We now have a dedicated PGPPP Manager (Alison Sandercock), a Communications and Events Officer (Amanda Shoebridge) and an Information Technology and Systems Officer (Chris Versace). We also created a Practice Support and Accreditation Manager position, filled by Sue Sladden and welcomed Angelique Gellert to the role of Registrar Support Officer. We were fortunate to recruit an experienced Medical Educator, Dr Genevieve Yates, who joined us from CSQTC. Finally, to help support the team, we brought on Angie Risk and Gail Musolino for administrative assistance.

“I have had a fantastic and broad-based experience so far; and it is getting even better. Next term I will continue my work in Aboriginal Health whilst also working in a ‘main stream’ practice at the same time as part of a job share project. NCGPT made it happen by being open-minded and accommodating. If you want to train with a truly flexible and innovative training provider who tailors to individual needs - NCGPT is the place to be.” – Dr Frank Schultheiss

Medicare Local PITCHERS, with Dr Tom Rolley (front right)

PITCH Perfect NCGPT Registrar Tom Rolley and his Mullumbimby Medical Centre Manager, Chiron Weber, won first place in the North Coast Medicare Local’s inaugural PITCH (Practical Ideas to Change Healthcare) competition with their health website portal. The portal concept was chosen due to the myriad of ways in which it could be used to better connect healthcare, clinicians and the wider community. It could support regular webinar presentations by GP’s and Specialists for patient information and education, with the scope and range of topics which could be presented, being virtually limitless.


Administration Team John Langill Chief Executive Officer Lesley Mitchell Executive Officer Bruce Barling Manager Program Development Sean O’Meara Communications Manager the year in review

Amanda Shoebridge Communications and Events Officer Cindy Venables Quality Assurance Manager Chris Versace Information Technology and Systems Officer

ncgpt registrar snapshot for 2012 • Current registrar numbers - 120 • Supervisors - 115 • Current training practices - 50

Lisa Weeks Finance & Payroll Officer Rhonda O’Dell Administration Officer Jennah Saville Administration Officer Angie Risk Administration Officer Jo Sayer Administration Officer Gail Musolino Administration Officer

the 2012 cohort • Males – 36% • Females – 64%

Liaison Officers

• Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander – 2%

Dr John Vaughan Supervisor Liaison Officer

• Australian medical graduates – 62%

Dr Nina Robertson Registrar Liaison Officer

• International graduates – 38%

Dr David Chessor Registrar Liaison Officer

• Most popular stage to enter GP Training – PGY1 (32%) • 22% of applicants to NCGPT had participated in PGPPP

Medical Education Team Board of Directors Dr David Gregory (Chair) Dr Christopher Jambor (Deputy Chair) Dr Nicholas De Marco Dr Tim Francis Dr John Kramer Dr John Moran Dr Sue Page Mr Gary Southey

Dr Christine Ahern Director of Training Dr Hilton Koppe Senior Medical Educator Dr Linda Brown Medical Educator Dr Kayte Evans Medical Educator Dr Nicola Foster Medical Educator Dr Tim Francis Medical Educator Dr Nicola Holmes Medical Educator Dr Helena Johnston Medical Educator Dr Debbie Kors Medical Educator Dr Peter Silberberg Medical Educator Dr Sharon Sykes Medical Educator Dr Rob Trigger Medical Educator Dr Genevieve Yates Medical Educator Neil Bambrook Education Officer Sharyn Corben OTD & GPPTP Program Manager Liz Degotardi Aboriginal Health Strategy Project Manager Alison Sandercock PGPPP Program Manager Sue Sladden Practice Support and Accreditation Manager Angelique Gellert Registrar Support Officer

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Year In Review 2012  

Annual Report

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