Interview

Q&A with the 2018 RACGP Registrar Representative candidates


newsGP staff writers


9/07/2018 9:54:38 AM

With voting for the next RACGP Registrar Representative underway, newsGP spoke with each of the candidates.

News teaser
(L–R) RACGP Registrar Representative candidates Dr Krystyna de Lange, Dr Rebekah Hoffman and Dr Abhishek Verma.

Voting closes on Thursday 19 at 5.00 pm (AEST). RACGP members can contact the Australian Election Company for more information on 1800 224 420 or 07 3408 8711, or email help@austelect.com
 
newsGP provided all candidates with standard questions and reproduced their answers verbatim.
 
Dr Krystyna de Lange
 
Can you tell us about yourself?
I am a recent fellow of the RACGP, having completed my training in May 2018. I entered General Practice terms in 2016 with GPTQ and have since worked across three very different practices in Brisbane. In addition to my clinical work, I am the Registrar Liaison Officer for GPTQ. Outside of work I love coffee, good food and travel. Even better if I can combine all three. I recently became mum to a now feisty little one year old. So park dates, story time and nursery rhymes have also become a favourite past time.  
 
How are you currently/have been previously involved with the RACGP?
I have been a member of the RACGP since starting my General Practice training in 2016. Whilst I have not had any formal role with the RACGP itself, I have taken an active interest in registrar support and advocacy since starting training at both a local and national level. I have been the Registrar Liaison Officer for GPTQ since 2016 and have been privileged to sit on the Advisory Council for GPRA during this time. Through these roles I regularly field questions and concerns from fellow registrars about a broad range of training and practice related topics. 
 
What are some of the main issues facing general practice registrars today?
I am passionate about ensuring improvements in both the training experience of registrars as well as their employment conditions. GP registrars are significantly disadvantaged under the current NTCER when it comes to base rate of pay, billing cycles and the absence of any study or professional development leave. From a training perspective, registrars need better in practice supervision and support; they need the delivery of consistent, good quality training across the country; and they need better support and feedback around exams. Registrar wellbeing and burnout prevention needs to be addressed. 
 
What can you bring to the role of RACGP General Practice Registrar Representative?
Change is ahead in the landscape of GP training. With change comes the potential for improvement and this opportunity must be harnessed. As a recent registrar and now with over two years experience in a representative role at both a local and national level I have developed a deep understanding of the registrar experience and issues currently facing registrars. I will bring this understanding and experience, alongside my passion and enthusiasm, to the role of Registrar Representative. I will ensure that the Registrar voice on the RACGP board is vocal, is heard and is listened to.
 
Dr Rebekah Hoffman
 
Can you tell us about yourself?
I am a recent fellow of the RACGP (March 2018). I studied medicine as a postgraduate at UOW graduating in 2010 and talking the scenic route to fellowship (including two periods of maternity leave during my GP registrar time). As a registrar I was the Registrar Liaison Officer for GP Synergy, and an Academic Registrar, and I studied Junior Doctor Burnout. I now practice in Mittagong (Regional NSW). I also work as a clinical tutor for the medical students at UOW and am doing my PhD there. 
 
How are you currently/have been previously involved with the RACGP?
I am the registrar representative on the NSW RACGP board, and sit on both the NSW new fellows committee and the National registrar advisory committee. I have been an RACGP member since I started GP training and try to attend as many events as possible, including GP17 last year, and I will be attending and presenting at GP18 this year!
 
What are some of the main issues facing general practice registrars today?
So many things. I will talk about two. 1. Flexibility in training. There is none. No two registrars are the same, and yet we all need to fit the model of what a registrar should be. There needs to be some individuality to training programs and the ability to change if life changes. 2. Quality training. In an apprentice model there needs to be a greater onus on quality practices training. Not on a quota system. Where quality practices are able to train more registrars and struggling practices are given support to become better.
 
What can you bring to the role of RACGP General Practice Registrar Representative?
Experience, Understanding and Passion. I have done it tough, I laughed and cried my way through my registrar training and see that it can be better. I really see an opportunity moving towards RACGP taking over training that this position needs to be taken on by someone who is passionate about registrars and making the training program better. And I want to do that.
 
Dr Abhishek Verma
 
Can you tell us about yourself?
I am a newly Fellowed GP currently practicing in outer south-east Melbourne. I studied medicine at UNSW followed by a Master of Surgery at University of Sydney. I received FRACGP in 2016.
 
My medical interests include teaching, medical regulation and medical writing. I have published numerous journal articles and a book chapter. I also currently serve on the Victorian Medical Board.
 
My interests outside medicine include spending time with my wife and two young daughters, over-consumption of gourmet foods and avid cricket-watching. I am also guilty of “talking shop” with my two younger brothers, who are also both doctors. 
 
How are you currently/have been previously involved with the RACGP?
I am currently involved with the RACGP in a number of ways. I am a current Board member of the RACGP Victoria Faculty. Additionally, I am current RACGP OSCE Examiner and involved in the RACGP as a medical educator. My other role in the RACGP include reviewing abstracts for the RACGP Annual Conference and acting as examiner for the RACGP OSCE trial examinations.
 
I have also had the pleasure of representing the RACGP on a number of issues across a diversity of media platforms, including television, print media and radio.
 
What are some of the main issues facing general practice registrars today?
GP Registrars face numerous issues relating to training, remuneration and work-life balance. As a recent registrar, I experienced first-hand the issues of having to complete training requirements, rural rotations whilst juggling a family and the need to pass exams. During my training I’ve had wonderful supervisors, but also some training experiences that weren’t what I’d have hoped. It’s important that GP Registrars are supported during training so they can maximise their learning whilst at the same time being fairly remunerated. As such, I strongly believe that GP registrars require a strong voice in the NTCER negotiations for fair employment terms. 
 
What can you bring to the role of RACGP General Practice Registrar Representative?
I hope that I will be able to bring a voice of robust and cogent advocacy to the role of GP Registrar Representative. If elected, I intend to ensure that GP Registrars receive a world-class training experience, especially as the College moves into taking a more central role in providing education for registrars. I would also like to work with the College collaboratively to ensure supported training opportunities for GP Registrars so that they are appropriately renumerated whilst learning to by GPs.



RACGP election registrar Representative





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