GP Speciality Trainees
What are GPSTs?
On completion of the two Foundation Years after leaving medical school, doctors can make a choice of which speciality they would to pursue as a career. Should they be sensible enough to chose General Practice, they apply via a national scheme to gain a GP training number with Health Education England (HEE).
In this area HEE North West offers three year training programmes in different localities across the region – we are part of the Macclesfield Scheme, where approximately 60 GP trainees are training at any one time.
The training programmes all vary in their composition, but in the main consist of 12 or 18 months in hospital placements and 18 or 24 months in General Practice. For convenience the first year is termed General Practice Speciality Training 1 (GPST1), the second year GPST2 etc. The other general term used to describe trainees is GP Registrar – they could be a GPST 1, 2 or 3.
The placements in General Practice can be at anytime in the programme, but current GPST3 is always in General Practice and the whole year is spent in the same Surgery.
GPSTs in Middlewood
So the GPST or registrar in Middlewood will have chosen General Practice as the career they would like to pursue and will be at some point within 3 year training programme. They will be working under the supervision and guidance of all the qualified GPs in Middlewood to assist them if required with any aspect of clinical care. The GPSTs also have an Educational Supervisor (ES), who has additional qualifications in education, and is responsible for overseeing their training, providing support and completing frequent assessments of their progress.
In order to progress through the training programme GPSTs have to demonstrate multiple competencies in many aspects of being doctor and these are assessed on a regular basis by their ES. Hence GPSTs might have surgeries where the ES ‘sits-in’ and observes the consultations or perhaps you might asked whether the consultation could be recorded on video. These recordings are treated with strict confidentiality and only used for assessment purposes.
To become a fully qualified General Practitioner every GPST must successfully complete a number of assessments to gain Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners’ (MRCGP). The requirements include multiple work place based assessments, an applied knowledge examination and an assessment of their clinical and communication skills in a ‘stimulated surgery’. In this final test the GPST3 conducts a whole Surgery in the London, with actors as patients and Royal College examiners assessing their performance.
So, the GP trainee you might encounter in one of our Surgeries is a fully registered doctor, who is on their way to becoming fully qualified GP and is undertaking part of their training and assessment programme with the Middlewood Partnership. Feel free to ask where they are up to in their training and how everything is going – they’ll like that!
Middlewood provides placements for doctors undertaking their Foundation Training Programme, but what exactly is a Foundation Year 2 (F2) Trainee?
- When a doctor completes medical school, they embark on a two year foundation training programme. They are a qualified doctor, but only have a provisional registration with the General Medical Council.
- During the first year (F1) they gain 12 months clinical experience as a doctor in a hospital setting where they undertake 3 different placements, for example in general medicine, surgery or mental health.
- Doctors who successfully completed the F1 are granted full registration with the GMC and move automatically into Foundation Year 2 (F2).
F2 consists of a further 3 placements – one of which is with a GP surgery, where they gain experience of primary care, under the close supervision of an experienced GP.
- On successful completion of F2 the doctor is able to apply for speciality training programmes, to pursue a chosen career path – like General Practice if they have any sense!
- So the F2 you may encounter in Middlewood will have been qualified for more than a year, but less than two and be a four month placement with The Middlewood Partnership, working under the close supervision of one of the regular GPs.
The length of slots tend to be longer to allow them time to come ask for advice, seek clarifications or indeed check on the appropriate procedure to conduct a task in the community setting.