Welcome to New Trainees

this is your starting point

GP Scheme Induction

resources and guidance for TPDs & trainees

GP Post Induction

guidance + induction resources

Hospital Post Induction

guidance + induction resources

How are you feeling?

Are you feeling worried?  Apprehensive?  A little scared?   Don’t know what you have signed up for?

Don’t worry!  These are perfectly normal feelings most GP trainees experience when they start a GP scheme.   Yes, there is an awful lot to cover, but remember – YOU HAVE LOTS OF TIME TOO!!!   So, instead of feeling a little apprehensive, see you if you can turn that emotion into an exciting feeling – because you’ll be learning lots of new and wonderful things!

Understanding General Practice in the UK

The first thing to get to grips with is to understand how General Practice works in the UK.   Many trainees (both those that  graduate from the UK and those that graduate outside) have little knowledge of the Primary Care model used in the UK.  By the way,  for those of you from abroad, primary care is another word for general practice and secondary care refers to hospitals.  

Here are two video clips that are worth while watching.   The first helps you understand how the NHS works.    And the second, more specifically about General Practice.

5 things to do when you join a scheme

Registration is  online with an initial registration fee which is confirmed by email. The  ePortfolio will be activated between 24 and 48 hours after registration with a  welcome pack sent approximately 10 days after. Once registered, you are then called an “Associate in Training” (AiT).

  • Contact your TPDs and get your rota so that you find out the details of your first post.     
  • Then contact that post and see exactly what is going to happen on your first and subsequent few days.  Obtain a copy of their induction programme.
  • Is there anything you need to bring with you?  Anything you need to register.   

A supplementary list is a list of doctors in the local area that are allowed to practice in that area).   Failure to do so may mean you can’t start work when expected and that can have huge ramifications (you may end up with an extension to training etc.).  So get it sorted now.  Ask the Practice Manager for your GP post or alternatively the GP scheme administrator/TPDs will know.

In GP and Hospital posts, you are to some extent covered by the Indemnity offered by the NHS.    However, you may end up doing (without realising it) other professional activities which may not be covered by the NHS Indemnity.   So, if you want peace of mind, you must maintain membership of a recognised medical defence organisation or insurer for these purposes. Nearly all GP Training Schemes strongly recommend all GP trainees to contact a defence organisation – like the MPS or MDU – and take additional personal cover.    Belonging to a defence organisation like the MPS or MDU will give you that extra support you will need if you become the subject of an investigation.    Organisations like the MPS and MDU provide invaluable personal support.  You will regret it if you don’t.   For the small extra cost, is it really worth taking the risk of not having it?

There are two inductions you will have at the start of your training.    

  • The first is an induction to your post – either a GP post based induction or a hospital specialty based induction.  These will help you settle into your new specific ST1 post.    
  • The second induction will be that organised by your GP TRAINING SCHEME.   The aim of  this induction is to provide a sort of orientation session where you understand THE WHOLE of your GP training pathway and journey (and all the requirements, including exams).    

You must attend both.   If you don’t know when your GP scheme’s induction is – email your GP scheme administrator.    When you have got your dates for your GP TRAINING SCHEME’S induction, don’t forget to  book that time as study leave with your first post.   PLEASE TELL THEM AND  BOOK IT IN AS SOON AS POSSIBLE – they will not automatically know.  

Make a good first impression

It’s worth trying to make the best impression  you can in the first few days of the post.  Be friendly and show genuine interest in the  job and all your colleagues at every level.  Show a willingness to work hard,  a willingness to listen to instructions and advice.  If you do this, people around you will find it a pleasure to want to help you.  

This applied to both GP and hospital posts.   In hospital posts, this is particularly  relevant in those specialties that lack a close team structure – where people don’t  have a lot of opportunity to get to know each other in depth.  In such departments, permanent staff tend to form a rapid impression of new doctors, who then get a  reputation which sticks.  People then take a long time to change their view if  they have made up their mind about you.  Is that something you would wish for on you?

It would be tactless and  inappropriate for us to quote examples, but some trainees have found  themselves pigeon-holed either negatively (e.g. as slack, unconscientious or  uncooperative) or positively (e.g. helpful, hardworking or conscientious) on  very little evidence.  Later, when their behaviour has changed, their  reputation hasn’t – reputation sticks!   

That’s why we say a little extra effort in the first few days is likely to pay immense dividends in the end.  Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can be good, hard working and conscientious in the beginning and slack off towards the end.  Individuals who go the extra mile are ALWAYS admired, respected and generally liked. Others, in return, will often go the extra mile for you!

I've got no ePortfolio... help!

It’s likely that you haven’t registered and therefore you have no National Training Number (NTN) which is necessary to create an e-portfolio. Registration is  online with an initial registration fee which is confirmed by email. The  ePortfolio will be activated between 24 and 48 hours after registration with a  welcome pack sent approximately 10 days after. Once registered, you are then called an “Associate in Training” (AiT).   Register NOW.   Do NOT delay it.  

Seek advice from your GP Scheme  administrator/TPDs ASAP if it remains a problem.  

I've transferred from another scheme...

Hopefully, your ePortfolio and everything will have been transferred over by your Deaneries and the RCGP.   So, log in and see if everything looks okay.  In particular, have a look at your post rotations within it and check to make sure they are all correct.    If anything is a miss, please contact your GP administrator first, failing that, your TPDs, failing that the Deanery, and failing that the RCGP.

What's the dress code?

Simply dress smart.  You don’t have to wear a shirt and tie or an elegant dress.  Looking smart is the key.  Most hospitals ban ties – so please do make contact with your organisation if you have questions or anxieties.

10 Quick Starting Tips

Understand the Professional Capabilities

The Professional Capabilities (previously called competences) are basically a set of areas you are measured against. Nearly everything you do in GP Training is mapped to these 13 PCs. So, getting a real good understanding of them is crucial to you achieving them!

Understand the theory behind Reflection​

One of the big things that ARCP panels and Educational Supervisors will assess are your learning log entries that you record in your ePortfolio. Those learning log entries must show evidence of performance as well as learning. But learning cannot happen without reflection. Therefore, understanding Reflection is a key thing to writing good learning log entries.

Don't miss your scheme's induction​

Your induction programme run by your GP training scheme will tell you everything you need to know for your training in a nutshell. It also provides a space to ask questions and make contact and connections with others (like the TPDs, other trainees and the Programme Administrator).

Plan your courses in advance​

Do remember that although you're a GP trainee, you are also an employee who is paid to do a job. Hospital departments and GP practices have a service to deliver to patients. Therefore, they can't just release you at the drop of a hat to release you to attend a course that you have booked at the last minute. So, book your training courses with plenty of advance notice (at least 6 weeks), including the induction course run by your GP training scheme.

Read a consultation book in ST1​​

Reading a book on Communication and Consultation Skills will really help you harness the power of effective communication in gathering clinical information quickly, making good decisions, and explaining things to patients in a way that is acceptable to them. Communication skills also help you enormously when things go wrong. Unless of course you love getting patients shout and swear at you! Jokes aside, a communication skills book is not only instrumental to helping you develop your consultation skills but also helps with the COT assessments and CSA exam preparation.

Do your QIA project in ST1​

The ST1 year will probably be one of your more easier years where you have time and space to gradually get to know everything that is required of you.
This is the ideal time to be doing a Quality Improvement Activity (QIA) project. Ask your trainer for some advice. Don't leave it til ST3 (because you'll have lots to do, including exams) and in ST2 it's almost impossible with busy hospital shifts.

Do your OOH sessions on time ​

If you are in a GP post, you need to start doing some Out of Hour sessions (OOH) - roughly ONE per month. Do not leave them all to do in the last GP post - not only is this unacceptable (and shows poor time management and organisation skills) but also will prove to be VERY stressful for you at time when you will have a zillion things to do! In your ePortfolio - simply recording the number of sessions worked does NOT provide evidence of this. Trainees must record a brief list of patients seen and reflect on the OOH session in terms of ONE OR MORE of the OOH Capabilities.

Remember in hospital, you're still a GP trainee

When trainees start their hospital post rotations, they quite rightly focus on the particular specialty that are working for. But what trainees often do is to forget all about General Practice and forget they are training to be GPs!
So, we are NOT asking you to lessen your enthusiasm for learning about a particular specialty. But instead, in each of your specialty posts think about the things that will serve you well as a GP.

  • So, yes – practice your consultation skills.
  • So, yes – learn about managing heavy menstrual bleeding in O&G rather than going to theatre to do Caesarians.
  • So, yes – perfect your examination technique and get your mandatory CEPS done in hospital rather than waiting in GP.

Remember your ePortfolio​

Your ePortfolio is one of the main things that is used in all your assessments like ES and CS meetings, and ARCP panels.
So it is right that you should pay a lot of attention and respect to it. Write things carefully - concisely - to demonstrate evidence - to show learning - rather than lengthy write ups of mindless waffle. And get at least the minimum number (although you should aim for twice the number) of things like CBDs, COTs and CEXs done in a timely way.

And finally, read other sections of this website​

And finally, there are tonnes of other things on this website. We have over 1000 resources. But please don't feel overwhelmed. You have 3 years to dip in and out of this website and learn things gradually and in a relaxed way.
The purpose of this site is to demystify GP training and use easier language than the RCGP website to help explain things in a more meaningful and practical way.
And of course, there are tonnes of things like help sheets and training material that you simply cannot find elsewhere. It's mostly free too!
There may be a small charge for the odd thing here and there, primarily to help raise funds to keep this site alive. Please support us through a voluntary contribution, buying from our book store etc.

Got any suggestions or advice?

Got any advice?  Anything we’ve missed?  Anything that you think is inaccurate? Then leave a message below.   Got a resource to share: contact [email protected]

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