The ICGP today welcomed over 200 GP trainers to the first in-person National Trainers Conference for two years. The conference was preceded yesterday by a new trainers workshop, delivering orientation to 54 new GP trainers. This is the largest increase of trainer numbers since GP training commenced in Ireland in 1984, in line with the Government’s ambitious target to grow GP capacity by 50 per cent by 2026.
Following the scale-up, more than 500 GPs will be trained to host a GP registrar in their practice.
Speaking at the event hosted at the Heritage Hotel, Co Laois, National Director for GP Training Dr Martin Rouse said: “This is the first opportunity to bring all the trainers together since the historic transfer of GP training from the HSE to the College in October 2021.
“Meeting friends and colleagues is very welcome, and it will also enable the delivery of a strong educational programme in the most traditional of ways and with an opportunity for formal and informal learning.”
The programme includes excellent presentations on a wide variety of topics including mental health, women’s health, managing complaints, practice management and dermatology all from GP Trainers. In addition, this year’s keynote address ‘Shakespeare, icebergs and becoming a GP’ is being delivered by the Honorary Professor at the RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Dublin, Chair of the Medical Intern Board of Ireland, and Immediate Past President of the UK Association for the Study of Medical Education, Professor John Jenkins.
ICGP Board member Dr Deirdre Collins opened the Conference stating that 500 GP trainers are the single biggest group of educators delivering training. “Trainers give much more than placement in practice and formal and informal teaching: we give of beyond ourselves teaching skills, knowledge, and attitudes. This relationship brings the training programme from educational to hopefully inspiring a life to general practice in which we should all be very proud.”
One of the challenges facing GP Training is the need to increase the number of trainees entering training.
ICGP CEO Fintan Foy said that this July 258 trainees will be accepted into the ICGP Training programme. “To meet the increasing demands for General Practice, this will gradually increase to 350 by 2026. The College is aware of the stresses this places on training and all those involved in delivering training. The task for the College is to maintain standards and ensure that resources are available to meet this demand.”
In conclusion, Dr Collins told attendees: “We are partners in training with the College and all are on a learning curve. This will take open-mindedness and patience on all sides. The promise of our national GP led GP training programme is the prize “.