GP Registrars and F2 Doctors

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!

F2 Doctors

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.

Some feedback from our postgraduate placements:

"Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for making my time at the Schoolhouse Surgery an incredible experience. I have never felt so welcomed, supported and appreciated. You are all such amazing people that make up the most fantastic team. Thank you all again for making the l last 6 months so special – I will truly miss everything about the Schoolhouse!"

"Thank you all so much for welcoming me into the practice. I’ve had the best 4 months and feel truly valued as one of the team. Nothing has been too much to ask and if I turn out half as brilliant as you and the others here I’ll be made up. I’m going to miss you all – this has been the best job I’ve ever had. Good luck with everything in the future."

"I have thoroughly enjoyed myself at The Schoolhouse Surgery and have learned a great deal from the whole team. I’ve been really impressed by the care you all deliver and the passion you obviously have for seeing General Practice done really well."

"I can’t thank you all enough for the last 4 months! You have made me feel so welcome and really like one of the team. I have never been to such an incredible GP surgery. You all go above and beyond to help patients and it is so well appreciated. The time and care you provide is second to none and I feel so lucky to have been a part of it even for just a short while. My time here has made me realise that I want to be a GP. The teaching has been exceptional and I’ve learnt so much more than I imagined I would. You set the perfect example of what a community based, patient centred, family doctors surgery should be like and I hope one day to be able to work in such a caring environment with supportive colleagues. Thank you all again for an amazing time, I will so miss being part of The Schoolhouse family!"