Guidelines of support required for student training

Different levels of supervisor support offered to students

The supervisor will be required to offer support to the student.

  1. The supervisor should provide orientation to the practice ensuring that the student is:
    • introduced to all members of staff
    • trained to use any systems in use such as computer systems and recall systems, if appropriate to the stage of training
    • be aware of the location of educational resources, including reference materials.
  2. The supervisor should ensure that the student is enrolled in a medical course at the named university.
  3. The supervisor should take direct and principal responsibility for individual patients
    • The supervisor should be physically present at the workplace at all times whilst the student is providing clinical care
    • If the supervisor is absent from the medical practice, doctors with general or full unconditional registration should oversee the medical student
    • The student should consult the supervisor about the management of all patients
    • The ultimate management of the patient should be provided by the supervisor
    • If the student goes on home visits to patients this should only be with the supervisor present. The student may elicit histories and examine patients in their homes only under direct supervision.


Guidelines for the Supervision of Medical Students in General Practice (PDF 651 KB) is designed for use by general practitioners and the primary care team to assess their suitability and capability to take on the responsibility for supervising medical students and prevocational doctors.

Teaching medical students - Tips from the frontline an article by Dr James Best uses a case study to illustrate key aspects of supervising medical students in general practice.

Trainees in the Practice: practical issues an article that describes the key aspects of patient and financial management when trainees are present in the practice and suggests solutions to potential issues.

Practice teaching tips for busy clinicians from a series of articles originally published in the Medical Journal of Australia. These also include hospital training, but the principles apply to supervision in the general practice setting. Each topic focuses on how the clinical environment provides enormous opportunities for effective experiential learning.


For further enquires about these resources or supervision of medical students:

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 international +61 (3) 8699 0300