Westcare is a large, modern, purpose-built medical centre that has been providing high quality care to the people of Melton since 1989. We have been recognised as RACGP practice of the year, and our Principal GPs are both past winners of GP Supervisor of the Year.
Our mission is to provide the best possible quality of care (especially chronic disease management and prevention), and to recruit the very best health professionals for our community.
Melton is a fast growing and diverse outer-urban community. We currently have a loyal patient base of 18,000 patients, but still attract many new patients. We are a mostly private billing practice.
The clinical team
Our team consists of 22 GPs, 5 nurses and 10 staff. Though we are a large team, we focus on retaining the culture of a smaller general practice, particularly when it comes to teaching and supervision. Registrars find that all of our doctors and staff contribute to the training experience.
Training of GP Registrars and medical students has been a priority at Westcare for over 20 years, because we believe that a learning culture enhances the level of clinical care provided to patients. GP Registrars are an important asset to the practice, and our patients are very accepting of the role of the GP registrar under supervision. Many previous registrars having decided to remain at the practice as associates and have even become partners.
GP Registrars are fully integrated into the day to day operation of the medical centre. We have enough space for each Registrar to have their own consulting room to themselves. Ample opportunity for adequate clinical exposure and case mix is provided, including special interest areas such as dermatology, women’s health and youth health. There is a high prevalence of chronic disease in Melton, and our reputation for providing such care will bring many patients with complex and chronic conditions to the GP Registrars.
Each registrar is of course allocated to one of our supervisors for the duration of their term. We always ensure the weekly protected teaching (tutorial) time, and tutorials can be planned to meet your needs and preferences. Tutorials are at least 1 hr per week for GPT3 and 4, 1.5 hours per week for GPT2, and 3 hours per week for GPT1. Corridor teaching is in addition to the minimum tutorial time, and supervision can also be provided for telehealth.
Medical students from the University of Melbourne are attached to Westcare. Past registrars have had useful clinical and educational involvement with students, and opportunities for shared tutorials and registrar-led teaching of students exists.
Westcare is also very pleased to be able to provide a special interest post for those registrars with an interest in working with young people. This position would suit a GPT3 or 4 Registrar who has ideally had some experience with mental health as well as sexual health.
The Registrar in this youth health role will spend the majority of the time consulting as usual at Westcare (patients of all age groups). The adolescent health component of the position would comprise working in established Doctors in Secondary Schools clinics in Melton with a practice nurse (usually one 4 hour session per week).These sessions provide the registrar an opportunity to work outside the traditional practice setting as part of a multidisciplinary team. Initially a GP supervisor may be on site for support and subsequently available by phone. Tutorials will be provided around issues confronting the practitioner dealing with young people as well as mental health and sexual health in the adolescent context, but tutorials on other aspects of general practice will also still be available.
This special interest post is appointed separately from our other GP Registrar position, so if you are applying specifically for this youth health role please indicate this prominently in your letter of application.
All our Registrars will also be involved in delivering workshops to year 9 and 10 students in Secondary schools in Melton as part of our HeLiPAd programme (Health Literacy Programme in Adolescents). The time commitment will be approximately 3 whole day sessions per 6 month term. This is a valuable opportunity to experience primary healthcare in a different context and has fundamental aims of health promotion and education.
The impact of Covid-19 is likely to persist through 2021. We have worked hard to minimise the effect it will have on Registrar training. Our top priority through 2020 has been the safety of our doctors, staff and patients. We moved to predominantly telehealth, but have always retained the ability to see patients face to face – at the doctor’s invitation. We have adopted strict triage processes for those entering the building, and have adequate PPE, sanitiser, surface cleanser etc. Patients have been