We recognise that GP trainees starting VTS come from a variety of different backgrounds and have a variety of aspirations regarding their career in general practice. Some have worked for many years in one specialty and would like to become a GP with a special interest in that area, some have no such experience but have an interest in one area and would like to cultivate more advanced skills in this area. Some have worked in a wide variety of hospital specialties, others are coming straight from foundation jobs and may feel they have gaps in specific areas for example ENT or psychiatry. Some have trained and worked abroad and would like to gain a broader understanding of the way the NHS functions.
Self Directed Learning, SDL, was introduced to the Reading and Newbury Scheme in 2009 in order to help you make the scheme as tailored to your individual needs as possible. You will have a half day session on most Tuesday throughout the year which you can use to sastisfy your individual learning needs. The way you spend this time is negotiated with your trainer according to your joint assement of your needs. Use your imagination….. so long as your trainer agrees you can do anything at all you like with this time! Past registrars have attended hospital clinics in testicular lumps, skin cancer, opthalmology etc, the local family planning clinic, shadowed the team doctor for Reading Football Club, attended local medical politics meetings, done elearning modules (max 2 sessions per year) and attended courses for postgraduate diplomas (max 2 sessions per year). You can choose to do your activity on a day other than Tuesday by swapping this time with practice time with your trainer’s approval.
After you have completed an SDL activity you will be required to fill in eportfolio entry about it, and it is really helpful if you can feedback your learning to the rest of the group.