GP registrars invited to make a difference with surveyACER news 21 Jul 2023 5 minute read
GP registrars have an exciting opportunity to shape future training and elements of their employment, with the opening of the Australian General Practice Training National Registrar Survey (AGPT NRS).
The survey is conducted annually by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) on behalf of the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care (the Department) and can make a real difference for GP registrars.
GP registrars are asked to rate their experiences and satisfaction levels and invited to share highlights of their training, areas that could be improved, and future career plans.
In 2021, ACER asked what leave entitlements registrars would like to see during training, with more than 4 in 5 calling for portable leave entitlements. The Department responded by funding a feasibility study and is now examining the feasibility of different policy options that may improve employee entitlements for GP registrars.
ACER’s analysis of the results provides an overview of Australia’s emerging workforce of GPs – including those preparing for rural practice – and informs solutions for healthcare challenges across the country.
Significantly, this year’s survey gives registrars a valuable opportunity to provide feedback on a new training model and contribute to improvements in GP training.
Under the new College Led Training model, the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) and The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) provide registrars with support and advice, assistance in planning their training and learning, placement matching with training facilities and training resources.
An ACER report on the 2022 survey showed that 85% of registrars were satisfied with the overall education and training, a figure largely unchanged from 2021 and elevated since 2020.
Training experience and future plans
Of the 1,103 registrars who took part in the 2022 survey:
- 76% were graduates from Australian medical schools
- 53% were born in countries other than Australia
- 62% were female
- 55% were aged between 30 and 39 years old
- 1.5% identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
- 1.5% were members of the Australian Defence Force
Of this cohort, 90% had received an orientation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and training in cultural safety (88%), and of the 53% on a pathway to work in a rural location, 17% were intending to work in Aboriginal health.
When asked about the best aspects of their training, the most frequently cited theme related to supervisors and supervision (19%), followed by practice workplace and colleagues and workshops or education days (both 15%), while exposure to a range of patients and cases was also rated highly.
Support and preparation for exams was cited by 19% as in need of improvement, with registrars seeking a clearer curriculum to study towards, less reliance on expensive external exam preparation courses and, for some, an exam format and content that better reflected the GP experience.
Survey findings are provided to the GP Colleges to provide advice on the registrar experience of training.
The survey is now open, with GP registrars invited to check their emails and follow the link to complete the survey before 18 August.
Read the full report: