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

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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