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COVID-19 Information for registrars, supervisors and training posts

COVID-19 Education and Training FAQs

27th March 2020

This FAQ is information for registrars, PEP participants, supervisors and practices regarding the impact of COVID-19 on education and training. 

The situation is changing constantly, and these documents will be reviewed regularly and updated as appropriate.

How do I manage the COVID-19 outbreak in the training post?

JCU GP Training advises registrars and PEP participants to follow safe infection control practices and to seek advice from their supervisors and practice managers or employer regarding the management of COVID-19 in their training post.

Supervisors and training post staff, as well as PEP participants without supervisors should refer to local up to date resources regarding COVID-19 which includes, but is not limited to Queensland Health information, your local Public Health Unit (PHU) or PHN (HealthPathways), ACRRM and RACGP updates, and your Medical Defence Organisation (MDO).

We have also collated several resources here

Please note that although social media is often used as a source of FOAMED (free open access medical education) information, the authenticity of this information is not guaranteed and should be checked. A list of resources is included at the end of this FAQs.

Please ensure you are vaccinated for influenza (when available) and that all your other immunisations are up to date.

How do I conduct telehealth consultations?

Telehealth consultations require consideration of several additional issues. Registrars undertaking these consultations should ensure that they meet privacy and medico-legal requirements. Your supervisor must be available to provide advice for you during teleconsultations. If you are doing telehealth consultations only for more than two weeks, please contact your local training office to discuss your situation.

There are several resources about managing telehealth consultations in the JCU GP Training Resources portal.

What happens if I am unwell?

Please take leave if you develop URTI or flu like symptoms, and do not return to work until fully recovered. This is not the time to be stoic and work whilst unwell.

Please notify your local JCU office and complete a leave form.

If you are concerned about potentially having COVID-19, please refer to local up to date resources regarding COVID-19 testing, and see your GP. These resources include Queensland Health information, your local Public Health Unit (PHU) or PHN (HealthPathways), ACRRM and RACGP updates, and your Medical Defence Organisation (MDO).

A list of resources is included at the end of this FAQs.

Please ensure you are vaccinated for influenza (when available) and that all your other immunisations are up to date.

What happens if I am asked to go into quarantine following a confirmed COVID-19 contact?

Registrars:  Please follow the quarantine rules. If you can, use this time to study (if you are sitting exams in the future) or catch up on any reading/journal articles you have been meaning to or any alternate education available from JCU GP Training  (available in the myGMT Resources Portal).

If you are quarantined, please notify your local JCU office. If you are able to work from home, including doing telehealth consults, this can be counted as training time. .

The RACGP has provided initial guidance about working from home doing telehealth. Details of this are available at https://www.racgp.org.au/coronavirus/gpit. We are liaising with ACRRM regarding advice to ACRRM pathway trainees.

PEP Participants: Please follow the quarantine rules. If you can, use this time to study or catch up on your learning units.

Supervisors: Please follow the quarantine rules. If you are supervising a registrar and are able to do so by phone, please continue to supervise, in conjunction with other doctors who are on-site in your practice. Please confirm the acceptability of arrangements for phone supervision with your registrar during this period. This is particularly important if there are periods of time when no other doctors are on site to provide support to the registrar.

 If your quarantining will mean your registrar does not have the requisite on-site supervision, please let JCU know by completing the supervisor leave form. We will work with you to try to find suitable alternative arrangements for supervisory cover.

Will time spent doing telehealth consultations count towards my training?

Yes, it will, for some of the time. We are working with the Colleges to understand the details that they require to accredit this. There need to be suitable supervisory arrangements in place for you to safely deliver this form of care, and this includes provision for the patient to be examined if required, as well as for investigations and prescriptions provided. It must also meet ACRRM and RACGP telehealth standards.  Please contact your local JCU office if you have any queries.

Please note that doing telehealth only for many weeks does not meet training requirements, as it does not meet the standards required for provision of comprehensive primary care.  If you are in this position, please contact your local JCU office as soon as possible to discuss your situation.

What about JCU GP Training education sessions?

All face to face education sessions have been cancelled, postponed or changed to an online format.

Registrars : From the week of 30 March, all registrars will be invited to participate in weekly 60 – 90 minute on line sessions. These virtual sessions will have some content e.g. specific case studies, as well as offer the opportunity to talk about your work and ask questions. These sessions are not mandatory.  However, regular connection with each other and the training program is very important at this time and we strongly encourage you to participate as frequently as possible.

If you attend, your attendance will be counted towards your mandatory education hours.

There is a suite of online learning resources available in the myGMT resources portal for you to use for self- directed learning. Keep a record of the ones that you do and these will count towards your education hours.

Supervisors: All supervisor workshops are postponed until August 2020.  The mandatory annual requirement for supervisor education will not apply this year. 

Are External Clinical Teaching Visits (ECTs) and in-practice Direct Observation (DO) still going to happen?

Routine ECT Visits for registrars and in-practice Direct Observation for PEP participants are currently suspended. There will be situations where it is important for an AGPT registrar’s progress that we do observe their consultations. If this is the case your local medical educator or administrative team will be on contact with you to discuss the arrangements.

We are implementing off site ECT visits, with a visitor zooming in to observe your consultations. We will keep you updated about this.

What about College exams?

ACRRM: Please refer to the ACRRM Coronavirus update page for more information: https://www.acrrm.org.au/support/clinicians/community-support/coronavirus-support

RACGP: Please refer to the RACGP Coroanvirus update page for more information: https://www.racgp.org.au/coronavirus/gpit

I am running out of training time!

No AGPT registrar will be negatively impacted by this. If you will be running out of training time prior to the next set of exams, please contact your local JCU office to discuss further. You will be granted an extension of your training time.

Who else can I speak to?

We understand that this may be a difficult time for health professionals on the front line. Please contact one of the following JCU GP Training staff members with any questions or concerns.

Registrars: Local Medical Educator or Team Leader, Registrar Liaison Officer

PEP ParticipantsPEP Coordinator

SupervisorsSenior Fellow, local Medical Educator or Team Leader

Practice Managers/Employers:  Local Team Leader, Practice Support Officer

COVID-19 Resources

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