Background: GP registrars are trained by regional training providers (RTPs) across Australia. Formal teaching is comprehensive but limited in specific clinic areas, such as Type 2 diabetes. Registrars are faced with the challenges of early diagnosis, managing glycaemic, blood pressure and lipid control, interpreting the range of targets for different patient groups, engaging patients in lifestyle modification and choosing between a rapidly growing number of classes of diabetic agents. Many registrars disclosed to the speakers a lack of confidence in managing these challenges.
Objective: To improve the confidence and skills of GP registrars in diagnosing and managing patients with Type 2 diabetes with an emphasis on early diagnosis and individualisation of treatment.
Approach: The authors developed a comprehensive one-day training program on Type 2 diabetes for GP registrars to cover many of these issues. The program was piloted with over 30 registrars in Melbourne from various RTPs in March 2013 and then run at the GP Conference and Exhibition in Sydney in May 2013.
The program consisted of six modules covering the aetiology of diabetes, strategies for engaging patients in lifestyle modification, a rational approach to current therapeutic options in a variety of different patient profiles and hands-on instruction and practice with diabetes devices such as glucose monitors, insulin pens and GLP-1 injection devices. The format was intended to be highly interactive, designed around small group learning and providing ample opportunity for questions and hands-on practice.
Findings: Initial feedback from registrars has been that attendees had gained greater confidence in managing the challenges presented by their patients with Type 2 diabetes and were more confident in choosing individual management approaches, including the initiation of insulin if appropriate.
Discussion: Based on the positive feedback, the program will be also be run as one day workshops in 2013 in Perth, Brisbane, Hobart and Melbourne. Appropriate pre- and post-attendance TOPDOC questions are being administered for analysis.