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'It gave me a new lease of life...': GPs' views and experiences of supervising foundation doctors in general practice

Sabey, Abigail; Harris, Michael; Van Hamel, Clare


Abigail Sabey
CLAHRC West Senior Teaching Fellow

Michael Harris

Clare Van Hamel


© 2016 Taylor & Francis. Background: General practice is a popular placement in the second year of Foundation training. Evaluations suggest this is a positive experience for most trainee doctors and benefits their perceptions of primary care, but the impact on primary care supervisors has not been considered. At a time when placements may need to increase, understanding the experience of the GP supervisors responsible for these placements is important. Aim:To explore the views, experiences and needs of GPs who supervise F2 doctors in their practices including their perceptions of the benefits to individuals and practices. Design and setting:A qualitative approach with GPs from across Severn Postgraduate Medical Education who supervise F2 doctors. Method: Semi-structured interviews with 15 GPs between December 2012 and April 2013. Results: GP supervisors are enthusiastic about helping F2 doctors to appreciate the uniqueness of primary care. Workload and responsibility around supervision is considerable making a supportive team important. Working with young, enthusiastic doctors boosts morale in the team. The presence of freshly trained minds prompts GPs to consider their own learning needs. Being a supervisor can increase job satisfaction; the teaching role gives respite from the demanding nature of GP work. Conclusion: Supervisors are positive about working with F2s, who lift morale in the team and challenge GPs in their own practice and learning. This boosts job and personal satisfaction. Nonetheless, consideration should be given to managing teaching workload and team support for supervision.


Sabey, A., Harris, M., & Van Hamel, C. (2016). 'It gave me a new lease of life...': GPs' views and experiences of supervising foundation doctors in general practice. Education for Primary Care, 27(2), 106-113.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 13, 2015
Publication Date Jan 1, 2016
Deposit Date May 9, 2017
Journal Education for Primary Care
Print ISSN 1473-9879
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 27
Issue 2
Pages 106-113
Keywords foundation placements, supervisors, foundation 2 training, community education
Public URL
Publisher URL