Support for supervisors
Undertaking the role of supervisor can be an additional load for doctors working in an already complex general practice environment. However, it is a core part of the supervisor’s role to appraise and support the wellbeing of both themselves and their registrar.
There is a range of support available for supervisors, and these are summarised below. It’s worth noting that many of these are also available to registrars, so you may like to refer your registrar to these too.
Medical educators (MEs) provide pastoral care and education support to supervisors. They can provide advice on enhancing the practice environment for the purposes of general practice training.
Training coordinators provide program coordination support to registrars and practices. You can contact them if you have queries about the program or need help with your requirements as a supervisor.
Supervisor liaison officer
Supervisor liaison officers (SLOs) are employed by the RACGP to provide support for supervisors through advocacy, both on an individual and collective level. The SLO may act as an intermediary between the supervisor and the RACGP if required. Provision of safe and confidential support, separate from any compliance or monitoring role within the RACGP, can also be provided by the SLO.
Your peers can be a valuable source of support because they will be going through similar experiences and challenges. Supervisor professional development workshops and SLOs are great ways to connect with other supervisors in your area. Having a support network is an important part of your self care.
The GP Support Program
The RACGP is committed to fostering a culture of self care amongst GPs. The GP Support Program is a free service available to all RACGP members.
You can access professional advice to help cope with personal and work-related issues that can impact on your wellbeing, workplace morale, performance and safety, and psychological health.
Having your own GP is important to optimise your own health. DRS4DRS is an independent program providing confidential support and resources to doctors and medical students across Australia, including helping you find your own GP.
The DRS4DRS website provides coordinated access to mental health and wellbeing resources, training on becoming a doctor for doctors, community news and navigation to state and territory helpline and referral services. Confidential phone advice is available 24 hours a day for any doctor or medical student in Australia.
CRANAplus Bush Support Services
CRANAplus provides a free and confidential telephone counselling service for rural and remote health practitioners and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The service is staffed by psychologists, including two Aboriginal psychologists. CRANAplus membership is not required to access the service.
T: 1800 805 391
Hand-n-Hand Peer Support
Hand-n-Hand offers a free, confidential peer support service for health professionals in Australia and New Zealand.
TEN – The Essential Network for Health Professionals
The online Navigating Burnout program has been developed specifically for health professionals to reduce the impact of burnout in a way that is sensitive to the unique challenges they face.
General Practice Supervision Australia
GPSA aims to ensure that the contribution of supervisors to providing quality training for the next generation of family doctors is rewarded and recognised. They provide best-practice resources, educational interventions, and advocate on behalf of general practice supervisors for an optimal GP training sector.
Visit the GPSA website.
Support for registrars
Refer to the AGPT Registrar handbook: Registrar safety and support.