RACGP awards: Education and Training

Neelima Choahan

10/10/2018 8:06:08 PM

Dr Holly Deer and Dr Dan Epstein have been honoured in the 2018 RACGP awards.

L–R: Dr Dan Epstein has been named the RACGP’s 2018 General Practice Registrar of the Year; Dr Holly Deer has been named the RACGP’s 2018 General Practice Supervisor of the Year.
L–R: Dr Dan Epstein has been named the RACGP’s 2018 General Practice Registrar of the Year; Dr Holly Deer has been named the RACGP’s 2018 General Practice Supervisor of the Year.

The RACGP announced the winners of the 2018 General Practice Supervisor of the Year and General Practice Registrar of the Year at the GP18 National Academic Fellowship and Awards Ceremony.
General Practice Supervisor of the Year
It was not long after she completed her own training that Dr Holly Deer took her first general practice registrar under her wing.
And since that time in early 2014, Dr Deer has been an active participant in training and looked after a number of general practice registrars.
Dr Deer, who has been named the RACGP’s 2018 General Practice Supervisor of the Year, said she is honoured and humbled by the award. However, she believes the award belongs not just to her, but her entire team.
‘It is extremely gratifying to know that the impact made on registrars-in-training has been positive for them, and that they feel they can take the guidance and teaching we’ve provided into their future working life,’ Dr Deer told newsGP.
‘I’m humbled because I’m not doing this alone and I think this award should be to our supervision team, not just to me. The team we’ve developed to provide this guidance, teaching and mentorship is one I hope we can continue to work together for many years to come.’
Apart from being general practice supervisor, Dr Deed is also an RACGP examiner, helping general practice registrars to navigate the pointy-end of their training in order to obtain Fellowship.
The South Australian GP, who practises in Crystal Brook, 197 kilometres from Adelaide, went into medicine with a plan to work in the country.
‘Rural general practice was a natural progression of this plan, and I could see from very early on in my medical training that this would be a career that would suit very well,’ Dr Deer said.
‘And it does.’
Dr Deed finds being a rural GP a fulfilling and rewarding career, even though she admits it can be stressful.
‘I love rural general practice; the variety, the continuity of looking after patients and their families, being able to look after people acutely unwell in hospital and then provide their ongoing follow-up,’ she said.
‘And I love the team environment we have developed at our practice – a very supportive, well-working team, which I think also is what is very appealing to registrars.’
General Practice Registrar of the Year
Dr Dan Epstein is honoured at winning the award.
‘Being an early-career doctor and academic, a lot of the time you spend doing hard work in the trenches with clinical rotations and with research reading a lot, and you can lose sight of what you accomplish along the way,’ said he told newsGP.
‘Receiving this award was a great moment to step back and actually feel a sense of accomplishment for these efforts.
‘I felt grateful and [it was] a really good award not just for me, but for my supervisors, partner, friends and family for their support and help.’
Dr Epstein believes being a GP requires a tough skill set.
‘I like that you really have to use your brain, read the patient and, with history and exam, problem-solve clinically, keeping that axe sharp so you can pick up diseases and cues from the patient early,’ he said.
‘GPs really have to fall back on those basic skills to be decent at the job.’
Describing himself as a true ‘generalist’, Dr Epstein loves the flexibility that comes with his role as a GP.
‘I am also the type of person who gets bored easily. I have to have a few projects on the go,’ he said.
‘General practice enables that flexibility of having a few different roles, teaching, research, being able to play sport, running a business, having time for friends and family.’
A runner up for the Rhodes Scholarship in 2015 and the John Monash Scholarship in 2016, Dr Epstein has a particular interest in the field of preventive and primary healthcare innovation and health economics.
Dr Epstein, who is completing a research project on alternate funding models within general practice, is also teaching fourth-year-medical students at Monash University.
Growing up in Victoria’s Yarra Valley, he undertook a John Flynn Rural Health Scholarship in rural Australia and spent time in Aboriginal communities.
While he initially considered going into emergency medicine, Dr Epstein ultimately changed his mind.
‘I still love the acuity of emergency cases and procedures, but I really love the ongoing relationships you can form over time in general practice,’ he said.
‘I really love the part you play in a patient’s life, to provide them with the support, treatment, reassurance for whatever they are going through.
‘You can learn about each other along the way and see them on the ups and downs. It’s a unique relationship that I'm sure gets better as your career continues.’

GP18 racgp awards registrar of the year supervisor of the year

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