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New alumni EXperiences of Training and independent Unsupervised Practice (NEXT-UP): protocol for a cross-sectional study of early career general practitioners
  1. Parker Magin1,2,
  2. Dominica Moad1,2,
  3. Amanda Tapley1,2,
  4. L Holliday3,
  5. Andrew Davey1,2,
  6. Neil Spike4,5,
  7. Kristen FitzGerald6,
  8. Catherine Kirby4,7,
  9. Michael Bentley6,
  10. Allison Turnock8,9,
  11. Mieke L van Driel10,
  12. Alison Fielding1,2
  1. 1 Discipline of General Practice, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2 NSW and ACT Research and Evaluation Unit, GP Synergy Ltd – Newcastle, Mayfield West, New South Wales, Australia
  3. 3 School of Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia
  4. 4 Eastern Victoria General Practice Training, Churchill, Victoria, Australia
  5. 5 Department of General Practice, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
  6. 6 General Practice Training Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
  7. 7 School of Rural Health, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia
  8. 8 Department of Health, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
  9. 9 Centre for Rural Health, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
  10. 10 Primary Care Clinical Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Parker Magin; parker.magin{at}


Introduction General practice in Australia, as in many countries, faces challenges in the areas of workforce capacity and workforce distribution. General practice vocational training in Australia not only addresses the training of competent independent general practitioners (GPs) but also addresses these workforce issues. This study aims to establish the prevalence and associations of early career (within 2 years of completion of vocational training) GPs’ practice characteristics; and also to establish their perceptions of utility of their training in preparing them for independent practice.

Methods and analysis This will be a cross-sectional questionnaire study. Participants will be former registrars (‘alumni’) of three regional training organisations (RTOs) who achieved general practice Fellowship (qualifying them for independent practice) between January 2016 and July 2018 inclusive. The questionnaire data will be linked to data collected as part of the participants’ educational programme with the RTOs. Outcomes will include alumni rurality of practice; socioeconomic status of practice; retention within their RTO’s geographic footprint; workload; provision of nursing home care, after-hours care and home visits; and involvement in general practice teaching and supervision. Associations of these outcomes will be established with logistic regression. The utility of RTO-provided training versus in-practice training in preparing the early career GP for unsupervised post-Ffellowship practice in particular aspects of practice will be assessed with χ2 tests.

Ethics and dissemination Ethics approval is by the University of Newcastle Human Research Ethics Committee, approval numbers H-2018-0333 and H-2009-0323. The findings of this study will be widely disseminated via conference presentations and publication in peer-reviewed journals, educational practice translational workshops and the GP Synergy Research subwebsite.

  • primary care

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  • Contributors PM, DM and AF conceived the NEXT-UP study. PM, DM, ATa, LH, AD, NS, KF, CK, MB, ATu, MLvD and AF substantially contributed to the design of the study reported in this protocol. PM, DM and AF drafted this paper. This paper includes intellectual content of all authors, and all authors have provided final approval of the current version for publication.

  • Funding This research project is supported by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners with funding from the Australian Government under the Australian General Practice Training program, grant number ERG020. In-kind support will be provided by GP Synergy, Eastern Victoria General Practice Training and General Practice Training Tasmania. The ReCEnT cohort study data which will be used in the NEXT-UP study, was funded until 2015 by the participating educational organisations: General Practice Training Valley to Coast, the Victorian Metropolitan Alliance, General Practice Training Tasmania, Adelaide to Outback GP Training Program and Tropical Medical Training, all of which were funded by the Australian Government. From 2016, ReCEnT is funded by an Australian Department of Health commissioned research grant and supported by GP Synergy.

  • Competing interests PM, AF, DM, ATa and AD are employees of GP Synergy. NS and CK are employees of Eastern Victoria General Practice Training. KF and MB are employees of General Practice Training Tasmania.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval is from the University of Newcastle Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC), approval number H-2018–0333. The ReCEnT study has HREC approval (University of Newcastle, Approval H-2009–0323).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

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