Support your registrar

Support your registrar

Supporting your registrar’s wellbeing

It’s appropriate for a supervisor or any member of the supervisory team to take an interest in and monitor the wellbeing of their registrar. The transition to general practice work can be stressful. For many registrars this is the first time they have had significant responsibility for patient care. Studies show that the highest levels of emotional distress in a doctor’s life occur early in their careers. Registrars value the supervisor’s experience and sage advice about the professional and ethical challenges of working as a GP and being a doctor in the community.

Registrars can lack influence in the general practice environment and about specific decisions that impact them. You should check that your registrar is being treated equitably in the apportioning of in-hours and out-of-hours work. You may need to advocate for the registrar to ensure that they have sufficient teaching time and clinical exposure to meet their educational needs.

You may be able to help prevent burnout by encouraging the registrar to develop and maintain healthy work and life habits. However, supervisors should not enter into a formal therapeutic relationship with their registrar. Contact the local RACGP team if you have concerns about the wellbeing of your registrar.

For helpful information and a list of resources for registrars, refer to the Registrar safety and support section in the FSP Registrar Handbook.

Supporting a registrar who isn’t progressing as expected

In general, registrars adapt and progress well through the training program. A supervisor has an important role in identifying a registrar who isn’t progressing as expected and notifying the RACGP. This will enable RACGP medical educators to devise targeted educational support for the registrar.

The registrar’s local medical educator and/or training coordinator should also be notified about any concerns with the registrar so that they can support both the registrar and you, monitor progress and provide additional learning support as needed.

GPSA has useful information and resources about performance management; refer to the GPSA website for more information.