The value of HealthPathways to registrars and overseas trained GPs

08 April, 2019

Written by Dr. Kirsten Van Haaster

One of the aspects of being a GP I find so satisfying is the opportunity to work in different roles, while still practising clinical medicine.  Being a HealthPathways Clinical Editor is one. Teaching is another. I’ve had the joy of supervising a succession of keen and clever GP registrars for over 10 years now.

For several years I also taught a succession of motivated and determined overseas trained doctors preparing for the GP exams, thanks to an amazing course Eastern Melbourne PHN (EMPHN) invited me to be a part of.  In both environments I have found each trainee has unique skills, strengths and weaknesses, and my challenge is to identify and help improve those areas where knowledge or skill is lacking.          Last week I asked our registrar to open the MBS items page on the HealthPathways Melbourne (HPM) site. I was gratified to peek over his shoulder and see he already had HPM open on the PSA testing page.          In our clinic, as part of early registrar orientation and planning of the term’s teaching, I always introduce HealthPathways as a resource.  In the past few years I’ve found our registrars already familiar with  HealthPathways, as it has been discussed at a training provider session (in our clinic’s case, Eastern Victoria GP Training.          I also found it a very useful resource for overseas trained doctors, both in exam preparation and more broadly in helping them to navigate a new country and system. The supervision and support for overseas trained doctors, working mostly in after-hours services and areas of need, was often virtually non-existent.           I could offer something practical by introducing HealthPathways in our sessions.  Any doctor working in a new location will be unfamiliar with local services and referral pathways; our referral pages are hugely useful for them.          In addition, it is particularly valuable for doctors at the beginning of their career in general practice to be able to access such a useful clinical resource.          I feel that promoting HealthPathways to interns and Hospital Medical Officers in the hospital system is a golden opportunity to increase familiarity with and use of HealthPathways. 

Approximately half of those doctors will enter general practice. Get ‘em while they’re young, I say.