VTS Teaching Program

ST1 and ST2 teaching on Tuesday afternoons

Structure:

ST1s and ST2s are usually taught on Tuesday afternoons, though sometime there will be courses that we run for the whole day.   We alternate structured, curriculum-based teaching delivered predominantly by our dedicated team of GP trainers  with group self-directed learning sessions (SDL).  The structured teaching is tailored to help you get the most out of your hospital jobs while keeping your focus on general practice.  We aim to cover the whole curriculum over the span of the three years and support learning towards the AKT and CSA.  We incorporate knowledge based teaching but also skills-based training.

The same teaching plan runs every year and there is flexibility to attend sessions missed in ST1 in during ST2.   The SDL sessions are organised by your year group and facilitated by the educational rep in each year.  They are an important opportunity for you to target your learning needs, gain experience in teaching and prepare for your exams.

We figure that you get plenty of exposure to hospital medicine through your day jobs in ST1 and 2 and so most of this program is delivered by GPs with special interests in the topic being discussed or your program directors. Occasionally we may invite hospital consultants, outside speakers or other members of the multi-disciplinary team in to share their expertise with you.

Each VTS session counts as 3.5 hours of  ‘educational time’.

Venue:

Training will usually be in the postgraduate centre at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, though sometimes the venue changes as we run joint courses with the Windsor scheme.

Please see the VTS Timetable for further details regarding the topic, venue and timing of teaching sessions.

Attendance:

Attendance at teaching is very important and we have worked hard with the departments to ensure trainees are released to attend teaching where possible.  The single lead employer requires that we keep records of your attendance and report all absences to them.  We therefore require that you fill in a Teaching Absence form for every missed session (both structured teaching and SDL) so that we can pass this information on to them.  It is important to note that you are paid to attend teaching and unexplained absence is treated as a probity issue by the single lead employer.   If your department is not releasing you regularly for teaching the PDs will investigate this.

ST3 teaching

Structure:

ST3s have a full day of training on Tuesdays.  Usually this consists of formal teaching in the mornings and self-directed learning in the afternoons.  The teaching program has been carefully compiled to address the  RCGP curriculum using local specialist and GP expertise.  The aim of the self-directed learning sessions is to enable you to target your specific learning needs, which could include peer-led teaching, inviting specialist speakers or attending outpatient clinics and courses.

The calendar should always be viewed for up to date information.

During August- February there is an emphasis on consultation skills and preparation for the CSA.   The group often uses SDL sessions to practice consultation techniques run through useful ‘hot topics’.

From March to July you will spend more time preparing for life as an independant GP.   Sessions include techniques for handling “difficult patients” , financial, legal and employment matters, medical politics, clinical governance, CV and interview skills.  We also run an away day with an overnight stay where we focus on developing skills required to work with colleagues in practice.

We use a wide range of teaching methods for example small group work, formal lectures, debate, discussion, practical exercises and video recording of consultations for discussion. A variety of professionally delivered courses are incorporated into this year. Some of these are provided free of charge, others carry a cost which you can usually use your study leave budget for. Courses offered typically include:

  • GP update (round-up of latest evidence)
  • A mock CSA exam
  • Therapeutic Rapport using actors to practice rapport
  • Substance Misuse
  • An St3 away day
  • Child and adult safeguarding

Venue:

Teaching is usually in Trust Education Centre on the RBH site unless stated otherwise on the timetable.  Sometimes we join forces with the Windsor scheme so the venue may change.  Please ensure you arrive by 9.45am for housekeeping- the formal session will begin at 10.15 am.

Attendance:

Attendance at teaching is very important and all of our practices release trainees for teaching on a Tuesday.  The single lead employer requires that we keep records of your attendance and report all absences to them.  We therefore require that you fill in a Teaching Absence form for every missed session (both structured teaching and SDL) so that we can pass this information on to them.  It is important to note that you are paid to attend teaching and unexplained absence is treated as a probity issue by the single lead employer.

TEACHING OBLIGATIONS FOR ALL TRAINEES:

The success of your learning as and individual and as a group depends on your commitment and contribution to the scheme.  Please ensure that you:

  • Regularly check website so that you know where and when sessions are being held
  • Be prepared for the topics of the day
  • Arrive on time
  • Let us know of any absences using the Teaching Absence form or if you are going to be late.  Make sure you sign in on arrival at each session
  • Play an active part in the group
  • Be respectful and supportive of each other
  • Prepare some sessions yourselves as appropriate
  • Spend some time presenting to the rest of the group
  • Reflect on every session and keep a log of your experiences in your e-portfolio
  • Build all this into your PDP
  • Give constructive feedback to the speakers, course organizers or registrar representative as required. There will be a feedback form to complete for each session
  • Obtain a copy of Good Medical Practice for General Practice and read it! This sets out the duties of a good GP and is also the format used for GP appraisals
  • Familiarize yourself with the contents of the Gold Guide
  • Enjoy your time as a registrar!