WA News Letters Being the Best GP You Can Be
Being the Best GP You Can Be
Written by Dr Frank Jones
Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Dear Editor,

The Medical Board of Australia’s (MBA) August interim discussion paper on revalidation had several parallels with the work the RACGP had already undertaken to strengthen continued professional development (CPD) for general practice.

The 2017-19 Quality Improvement and Continuing Professional Development (QI & CPD) continues our approach of providing opportunities for GPs to reflect on their current knowledge and skill base, and make appropriate determinations on possible improvements in accord with their patient needs and that of their own professional pursuits. 

The addition of a planning learning and need (PLAN) activity makes this possible in an electronic format the first time. A PLAN activity involves a comparison of individual skill and knowledge to that of the expected standard of the profession. PLAN and the revised QI&CPD program were announced at our annual conference GP16 in Perth.

The MBA’s initial proposals, should they be implemented, will have long-term consequences for the medical profession in Australia – many positive, but others requiring careful appraisal and reflection.

Revalidation has been gathering apace, most notably in Europe. Prior to 2000, only six of 18 European countries mandated a compulsory CPD system. That number has since increased to 16 out of the 18 countries. (The other two countries make use of an incentive-based program.)

Although a form of revalidation will bring us in line with our international contemporaries, the RACGP believes any proposal must reflect the unique Australian health provision environment.

The RACGP considers that before any change, a number of tenets of our existing system should be incorporated into the new revalidation approach, with a focus on continuous improvement and lifelong learning.

Being the best GP you wish to be means maintaining skills and knowledge to the level required by the profession for unsupervised general practice, and also having the opportunity to pursue knowledge and skills based upon practice and community need, and personal aspiration. 

Dr Frank Jones, Immediate Past President RACGP