The St George Hospital offers a co-ordinated Basic Physician Training program involving the following hospitals: Coffs Harbour, St George, Shoalhaven and Sutherland.
The training program comprises four core components. These include preparation for the written and clinical components of the RACP exam and the provision of clinical instruction to facilitate general medical training of Basic Physician Trainees within the St George Network. The latter involves not only provision of a broad range of clinical experience, but also augmentation of the unique experiences available at the different hospitals within the network. A third core component – the provision of a professional development program targeting teaching and leadership skills has also been developed. The final component is that of ongoing support for the trainee.
Core component I: Training for the RACP exam
The majority of structured teaching for the RACP exam is undertaken at the St. George and Sutherland sites. Registrars sitting the RACP exam are allocated to the St George or Sutherland Hospitals for the six-month period prior to the clinical examination.
Written component of the RACP examination
A combined teaching program is in place, based at the St George and Sutherland Hospitals. The lectures complement the existing RACP lecture series program.
- St George Hospital lecture series from August to December, which is presented by consultants from a variety of specialities.
- Paper B tutorials from January to target identified “problem” areas in the RACP written examination and are designed to provide registrars with practical skills for Part B of the written examination.
- Trainees are encouraged to attend the revision courses for the RACP written examination (RPA, Dunedin or DeltaMed). The provision of study leave is granted to trainees meeting the Network criteria.
Clinical component of the RACP examination
The main clinical teaching program commences in March following the RACP written results and continues until the RACP clinical examination. It comprises four main features:
- 1on1 Case Roster - A structured roster is organised to provide candidates with access to a broad range of consultants for personalised instruction in case presentation or technique. Weekly clinical tutorials and Masterclass sessions - Clinical skills training in different sub-specialties, such as Neurology, Rheumatology, Gastroenterology, Cardiology and Respiratory are organised to improve clinical examination skills.
- Weekly clinical cases - This program is well supported by all medical departments and provides an opportunity for trainees to undertake long and short cases, under examination conditions, with consultant examiners each week.
- Trial examinations - Formal trial examinations are also held on some weekends and are conducted as a morning session of the RACP examination.
Core component II: General medical training program
Term allocations are structured to ensure a broad range of exposure for each trainee, taking into account the two-year cycle undertaken by most trainees pre-examination. The aim of the rotations is to deliver a balanced experience, so that trainees learn to manage a broad range of clinical conditions, rather than several focused subspecialty areas.
Exposure to general medicine in the smaller centres such as Coffs Harbour and Shoalhaven is viewed as one of the main advantages of the program, providing an opportunity to practice general medicine under supervision.
Core component III: Professional development
The following areas are incorporated into the training program.
- Effective development of teaching skills
- Professional skills
- Leadership skills
- Presentation skills
- Time management skills
- Balancing personal and professional responsibilities
- Stress Management
- Conflict resolution skills
- Development of effective skills for engaging hospital administration and dealing with administrative tasks in the NSW public hospital system.
- Research and audit
- Financial management and career development
Core component IV: Support during training
- Regular meetings with the Network Director of Physician Training to ensure adequate support, progress and achievement of goals
- Mentors during training to provide independent guidance
- Consideration of job-sharing and part-time training if required