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Remote supervision in postgraduate training: a personal view

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Using telehealth infrastructure for remote supervision could create medical training places where they are needed

Remote supervision is used increasingly in postgraduate general practice training in outback Australia and northern Canada.1,2 In this model, general practice supervisors and registrars working in different locations communicate via information and communication technology. However, the concept of remote supervision compared with the traditional apprenticeship of general practice training raises questions about how registrars can learn without observing their general practice supervisors at work. And how do general practitioners supervise registrars without overseeing them?

Remote supervision began as a trial to give registrars experience of solo general practice during training. General practice supervisors supplemented phone communication with onsite teaching visits.3 This pilot project met the training standards without any reports of adverse patient outcomes.3 It led to the formation of the Pilot Remote Vocational Training Stream and then the Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS).1

After relocating…