Caring for Kids: Are we adequately preparing Australian general practice registrars for primary care paediatrics?

Project Details

General Practitioners (GPs) are at the forefront of child and adolescent healthcare in the Australian primary care setting, and play a crucial role in addressing the growing disease burden in this age group. For GPs, preparation for this key role begins during their specialist training in general practice as GP registrars. GP registrars can complete their RACGP pre-vocational paediatric training in numerous ways, but the most common is in acute care settings such as hospital inpatient wards and emergency departments with a smaller number in community settings such as specialised primary care services for children and adolescents. Some registrars choose additional paediatric training through theory-based coursework via the Diploma of Child Health (DCH) (recently renamed to the Sydney Child Health Program).
Our recent study found that most Victorian RACGP Registrars’ paediatrics training was mainly obtained in acute care settings and that registrars lacked confidence in managing non-acute biopsychosocial conditions compared to acute medical conditions (such as infections, acute asthma) (Williames 2020). Given differences in the approaches taken to GP registrar paediatric training around the country, the present study set out to examine whether findings in GP registrar confidence nationally echo those for trainees in Victoria.


Prof Lena Sanci, Head of Department

Dr Claire Mahoney, General Practitioner

Dr Ian Williams - Research Fellow in Adolescent Health

Research Outcomes

The key aims of this study are to examine differences in GP registrars’ levels of confidence in managing paediatric presentations in primary care by training pathway nationally. This work is significant as Registrar training has recently changed and it gives an opportunity to review paediatric training exposure.

Research Publications

Williames S, Temple-Smith M, Chondros P, Spike N, Salamone A, Magin P, Hiscock H, Sanci L. General practice registrar confidence in paediatrics. Australian Journal for General Practitioners. 2020;49:759-766

Research Group

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

General Practice and Primary Care

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