Build skills in research and critical thinking

The everyday practice of GPs is based on evidence. GPs and registrars need to be able to filter, critically appraise, interpret and apply the information available to them. The Australian General Practice Training program (AGPT) seeks to ensure registrars have the opportunity to build their skills in the areas of research, teaching and critical thinking through 12-month academic post training terms.

An academic post is an AGPT training term in which registrars learn academic skills through individualised learning plans with mentoring and support from training providers, universities and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

The post aims to provide exposure to research and teaching in the academic environment and encourages registrars to incorporate academic work into their careers.

 

 

Why should I consider an academic post?

 

An academic post can provide a solid foundation upon which a registrar can build their career.

2017 Academic Post registrar Dr Rebekah Hoffman’s research focused on burnout and wellbeing of junior doctors. She was published in the August 2018 edition of Australian Journal of General Practice (AJGP) and featured in a newsGP story that same month.

In this short video, she touches on how she has found her experience as an academic post registrar and shares what advice she’d give future applicants.


Academic Post program 2020

Applications for the Academic Post program 2020 are open from 1 March 2019 until close of business on 31 May 2019. If required, the RACGP may contact some applicants mid July for further information regarding their proposals. The RACGP will advise all applicants of the final outcome for the Academic Post 2020 program by 31 July 2019.

The application guide for the Academic Post program 2020 is available here.

Download application guide Apply Now – AP 2020 Program


Australian Journal of General Practice (AJGP) post

The Australian Journal of General Practice (AJGP) is the official journal of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP). It is a highly regarded, peer-reviewed journal publishing original articles and reviews dedicated to meeting the ongoing educational requirements of general practitioners. The AJGP post incorporates a standard Academic Post with additional editing work. This post is a unique opportunity for a registrar to obtain medical editing experience during their academic training.

The Editorial Fellow role description can be found here.


The Australian Indigenous Doctors Association (AIDA) academic post

As part of the Federal Governments’ Closing the Gap strategy, the Department of Health has earmarked a specialised academic post referred to as the ‘Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association (AIDA) academic post’. AIDA and its members are uniquely positioned to provide perspectives aimed at improving the health and life outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

The AIDA post is offered to an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander general practice registrar and aims to enhance the registrar’s training via exposure to, and experience in research and teaching.


The AIDA post comprises 0.5 FTE clinical work in a general practice clinic (minimum of 14.5 hours per week) and 0.5 FTE in academia, including research (11.4 hours) and teaching (7.6 hours). The successful applicant will be supported to visit AIDA’s office in Canberra several times over the course of the post. Applicants may develop their own topic in consultation with their University supervisor or select from the list of suggested topics provided below.

Suggested research topics

All of the topics listed below would lend themselves to a number of different approaches, ranging from a literature review, a review of metadata and trials, developing research methodology on how to collect/collate the data and measure/impact on results informed by and integrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of being and knowing and/or best practice models. Additional annotations are only provided where they differ from the above.

  • Applying cultural safety in clinical practice at the GP practice level (could also be a collation/review of patient surveys on the cultural safety of their treatment/GP)
  • Racism (as experienced and/or perpetrated) by GPs
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patient and doctor (under)identification
  • GPs and ear health
  • GPs and BBV and STIs
  • GP role in identifying and addressing current and future effects of climate change on the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
  • Euthanasia/Doctor assisted dying –
    • the impact of proposed and current laws on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients
    • the opinions on those issues among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients (should include palliative care)
  • Integrating traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander healing practices in modern clinical practice

Prospective applicants are encouraged to read the application guide for the Academic Post program 2020 and liaise with RACGP. Please contact the Education Research Program Coordinator, Dr Jill Byron, via gpedresearch@racgp.org.au or on 03 8699 0374; or AIDA via aida@aida.org.au or on 02 6273 5013.




How to prepare a quality application


There are a total of 20 academic posts available every year and the application process is very competitive. Prospective applicants are encouraged to check their eligibility for a post with their medical educator and liaise with their proposed university supervisor before commencing an application. Registrars are also encouraged to request support from RACGP staff before and during the application process via email gpedresearch@racgp.org.au or telephone 03 8699 0374.

2018 Academic Post registrar Dr Emily Kirkpatrick sat with Dr Chris Barton, senior lecturer in primary health care from Monash Department of General Practice, to talk through the steps involved in preparing and submitting a quality application.
 


RACGP awarded 20 academic posts to general practice registrars to undertake research and teaching during 2019. A list of successful applicants and their research projects can be accessed here: 2019 Academic Post Registrars and research questions (PDF 469 KB)

The RACGP Academic Post 2019 Cohort Guide provides comprehensive information for current and prospective academic registrars and their training providers.

RACGP Academic Post Cohort Guide 2019 (PDF 204 KB)


RACGP awarded 18 academic posts to general practice registrars to undertake research and teaching during 2018. A list of successful applicants and their research projects can be accessed here: 2018 Academic Post Registrars and research questions (PDF 84 KB)

The RACGP Academic Post cohort guide 2018 provides comprehensive information for current and prospective academic registrars and their training providers.
 RACGP Academic Post Guide 2018 (PDF 719 KB)


A list of projects undertaken by the 2017 Academic Registrars can be accessed here: 2017 Academic Post Registrars and research questions (PDF 351 KB)

Scholarly articles published by the 2017 Academic Registrars:

Significant achievements:

  • Dr Daniel Aranov presented at GP18 and won both the Allan Chancellor award and the Peter Mudge medal. His presentation was titled: “Social media video improves informed choice for breast cancer screening”

 

Read about the experience of past academic registrars who have featured in newsGP.

“Balancing academic, clinical and personal life”

With burnout among general practice registrars an all-too-common issue, Dr Bosco Wu focused his academic research on the risks in medical training.

“From general practice registrar to Clinical Dean: A career reflection”

Associate Professor Justin Tse reflects on how his academic post helped pave the way for a fulfilling career in medicine and academia.

“The birth of a career in general practice research”

Dr Jo-Anne Manski-Nankervis reflects on how her AGPT academic post led to a PhD and successful career in general practice research.

“E-chatting about digital health to vulnerable populations”

Dr Melinda Choy is hoping her research will make a difference.

“Finding your tribe as a GP and academic”

GP and researcher Dr Liz Sturgiss believes ‘there is still a lot we don’t understand about why general practice works so well'.


 


Enquiries

GP Education Research program team at RACGP
gpedresearch@racgp.org.au