Registrar survival guide - Asking for help

Get the most from your colleagues, advises Dr Meena Nathan

Trainees need to be motivated and direct their own learning
Trainees need to be motivated and direct their own learning

Your trainer

  • Your trainer will give you all the help and advice you need. It is up to you though to be motivated and direct your learning.
  • Ensure you sit down with your trainer and set your personal development plan. Negotiate a timetable and map out the year.
  • Have regular reviews with your trainer and make it essential to keep on top of your ePortfolio.
  • Attend regular debriefing sessions with your trainer.
  • Start video surgeries early; they are helpful for CSA practice and time management skills.

Partners and other GPs

  • Observe what other GPs do well and learn from this. Sitting in with GPs at different times of the year will achieve different educational benefits at different points of training.
  • A useful exercise could be to mark other GPs on their consultation skills using the COTs marking scheme.
  • Listen in on telephone consultations.
  • Out of hours sessions have a different style of consultation. Try to attend some with other GPs to reflect and learn.

Other members of the practice team

  • Learn how to use the team around you effectively to make the most of your role as a GP.
  • The practice manager is a great person to advise on QOF work, leadership skills, staff disciplinary issues and running a business.
  • Learn the roles of the practice nurse, district nurse, health visitor, midwife and administration staff.
  • Pharmacists can advise on minor ailments and medication reviews. See what is available over the counter.

Other GP trainees

  • Have a First 5 GP or other GP registrar to be a mentor or buddy.
  • Fellow trainees make for handy patients in role play practice for the CSA.
  • Gain support from your VTS group to get you through the year.

Dr Nathan is a salaried GP in Buckinghamshire

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