Looking to the future of general practice

Doug Hendrie

19/11/2019 11:17:43 AM

Even if you’re seen as a leader, those skills don’t always come naturally. That’s where the RACGP Future Leaders program comes in.

2020 and beyond
The 2020 Future Leaders program includes an eight-month course delivered through webinars and videoconferencing.

‘GPs are naturally seen to be leaders in the community, but we don’t have formal training in leadership.’
That is Dr Mary Wyatt, convenor of the RACGP’s Future Leaders program, which is specifically designed to provide GPs with those skills.
‘Without these skills, it can lead us to places that feel unfamiliar, or to be uncomfortable enacting change in our communities,’ she said.
‘The Future Leaders program gives doctors confidence in their ability to lead change in community.
‘It’s a great way for GPs to gain confidence in leadership, to network with people involved in politics, advocacy or change within an organisation, and to develop a network of support within the college.’
Past participants have told Dr Wyatt the program challenged them to think beyond the every day.
‘It’s an exciting and challenging program. People have really appreciated it, and many do go on to lead,’ she said.
Applications are now open for next year’s intake, and will close on Friday 6 December.  
The course begins with a two-day launch in Brisbane with keynote speakers and mentors, followed by an eight-month course delivered through webinars and videoconferencing.
The Future Leaders program is aimed at helping GPs identify their values and how they relate to their leadership qualities. It also examines techniques for influencing and achieving change, with a focus on the future and maintaining a ‘bird’s eye view’.
Applicants must be RACGP Fellows with some previous leadership experience who can commit around four hours per week between March and October. Other criteria also apply.
Launched in 2017, the Future Leaders program was initially conceived as a way to encourage Fellows to get involved in the RACGP. It has since broadened into improving leadership skills.
This year’s crop of 27 future leaders includes GPs like Dr Adelaide Boylan, who wants to learn how to revise and deliver a new university course on medical professionalism, and Dr Paula Conroy, who plans to find ways of boosting the provision of medical care for doctors and medical students.
The cohort also includes Dr Cathryn Hester, who wants to enable more quality primary healthcare in prisons, and Dr Sara Townsend, who has been very active in the Medevac and refugee health debate and led the first clinical audit of the health burden in offshore processing centres.
Other plans include efforts to improve data quality in practices, a new wellbeing conference, and plans for a new financial and business curriculum aimed at GPs.
Interested GPs can email

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