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Underperforming GPs: Fellowed and non–vocationally registered

Performance management and support

It is inevitable that, among all the GPs practising in Australia, there will be some who are underperforming, where patient safety is compromised and who will require some form of support or assistance in order to address the performance concerns.
Generally speaking, performance concerns are identified when a complaint has been made to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency about a GP, either Fellowed or non-vocationally registered. Following an investigation, conditions may be placed on the GP’s practice, which may include having to undertake education, an audit of medical records or mentoring. GPs finding themselves in such a situation will require support.
The RACGP’s A guide to performance management and support for general practitioners outlines the process for identifying and addressing the needs of underperforming GPs and assisting them to adopt practices that conform with the RACGP’s competency profile and the Medical Board’s Code of conduct. In that respect, the document provides guidance to those involved in the management of performance concerns (medical educators, investigators, assessors, mentors and supervisors).
The guide also highlights the importance of prevention; for individual GPs, practices and practice managers. It is a tool for reflection and for adopting more appropriate practices and processes.
For guidance on managing performance concerns in GPs working towards attaining Fellowship (Australian General Practice Training or Remote Vocational Training Scheme), refer to GPs working towards attaining Fellowship.