Welcoming our new AiTs to Team GP

Welcome new starters - we are your AiT Co-Chairs!

We lead a vast network of trainee representatives across the country, who ensure there is a strong trainee voice in all key decisions that shape our training. We also help the College to run events and activities to support you to make the most of your training and to successfully obtain your CCT. You are joining a community of over 13,000 GP trainees, so help, support and advice are never far away. You will quickly realise that there’s a whole host of people around to help you navigate GP training, but we just wanted to introduce you to a few things to get you started.

Your local programme (most commonly known VTS - Vocational Training Scheme)

It’s your local scheme of trainees, who all rotate around the same hospital trusts and GP practices. You’ll be taught together once a week, and this group of trainees, alongside your Training Programme Directors (TPDs), are often the best source of support for you throughout your training. So get to know your peers, many of whom will become really good friends!

Your trainee portfolio

Throughout your time in GP training, you will keep a portfolio, which is hosted on a platform called FourteenFish. As a member of the RCGP, you will have access to the portfolio and the training map sets out some of the aims and assessments to be completed during ST1. We’d recommend starting by entering a reflective learning log to get used to using the system. Reflection is something we do a lot in GP training, and it’s really important to our personal and professional development, so a good place to start. The RCGP website has more information about the trainee portfolio.

Your assessments and exams

There are three assessments in GP training to obtain an MRCGP:

Each of which tests different competences using validated assessment methods and which together cover the spectrum of knowledge, skills, behaviours and attitudes defined by the GP Specialty Training curriculum. Exams can cause great worry and anxiety for trainees, and though you have plenty of time ahead of you as an ST1, it’s important to remember that the best source of advice can be gained from your peers in your local GP training programme. If you haven’t already discovered it, look out for a local WhatsApp group where trainees can share their thoughts, ideas, worries and concerns. Be sure to join your local group and asking for advice early is key. The RCGP website has more information about MRCGP assessments, and you can also ask your educational supervisor.

Your College

The RCGP is our professional body, yes they run our exams, but they provide so much more. From events and activities to help navigate the challenges of GP training and high-quality educational resources to dedicated wellbeing support, the RCGP is here to help you on your journey to becoming a GP. The College’s #CelebrAiT programme aims to provide the support you need to make the most of your training, so check it out! If you are keen to get more involved in College activity (and we would thoroughly recommend it as a great opportunity to meet a wider network of GP trainees and inspiring GPs) get in touch with us via ait.chair@rcgp.org.uk - we’d love to hear from you!

We hope you enjoy your time in GP training and get as much out of it as we have, remember there is always help if you ask for it. Enjoy getting to know your peers over the coming weeks, and we look forward to meeting you in the future.

Best wishes,

Sophie and Adam

Post written by

Dr Adam Thomas and Dr Sophie Lumley, RCGP AiT Network Co-Chairs

Adam and Sophie are the current Co-Chairs of the RCGP AiT Network. They are both in their final year of GP training in Shropshire in the West Midlands. They both have a keen interest in medical education and leadership, having both completed National Medical Directors Clinical Fellowships. Adam has a masters in medical education and has previously worked in the assessments team at the GMC for his leadership fellowship. Sophie is an academic trainee and is currently completing a PGCert in Med Ed as part of her academic training, she worked at NHS England in the prevention team for a year before her GP training.

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