Closer supervision in Australian general practice training: Planning major system change

Gerard Ingham, Kayty Plastow, Rebecca Kippen, Nicky White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Major system change involving closer supervision of trainee GP registrars in Australia is warranted. Change management guidelines recommend involving stakeholders in developing change. The views of those involved in general practice training about current and potential supervisory practice were explored. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a lead medical educator from nine Australian regions. Focus groups were conducted with GP supervisors and GP registrars. Transcripts from the interviews and focus groups were analysed using conventional content analysis, with themes emerging inductively from the data. The findings were that over 1-3 months, a registrar could progress from their supervisor observing all consultations through to the registrar only calling when they identify the need for help. There is strong support from registrars for this change to closer supervision, but less support from supervisors and educators. Barriers to the proposed change include high clinical demand competing with teaching capacity, inadequate payment for closer supervision and supervisors lacking skills or motivation to have a more active role in registrar supervision. If funding and logistic barriers to change are addressed, a change to a closer level of supervision is possible. A pilot study to further refine the change is indicated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-190
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian Journal of Primary Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2020

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