A crisis is also an opportunity: GP teachers' views on continuing clinical placements in general practice during the evolving COVID-19 pandemic

Katharine A. Wallis*, Jane Smith, Margaret Henderson, Natasha Yates, Nancy Sturman, Deborah A. Askew

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Background and objective 

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, some universities suspended student placements in general practice. The aim of this study was to explore the views of general practitioners (GPs) teaching in clinical practice (‘GP teachers’). 

Methods 

Semi-structured interviews were held with 15 GP teachers in southeast Queensland from June to August 2020. 

Results 

Challenges included lack of masks and space, and concerns about infection control, medico-legal liability and student learning. Telehealth created more time for reflection and accessing information, increased student access to sensitive consultations, and provided opportunities to think-through rather than rote-do physical examinations. Students could be an extra pair of hands, also accessing and implementing the latest public health advice. GP teachers wanted clear communication and guidance from universities and for students to be trained in infection control and telehealth skills. 

Discussion 

Findings suggest that many GP teachers can be supported to continue clinical placements during an evolving crisis. The pandemic presented many challenges for general practice but also new opportunities for students to learn and contribute in practice

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-170
Number of pages4
Journal Australian Journal of General Practice
Volume51
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022

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