External Clinical Teaching Visitors

The ECT visit - an overview

The ECT visit - the process

ECT visitor training

The ECT visit overview

During an External Clinical Teaching Visit (ECT visit) an experienced GP sits in with the doctor in training for a three hour session (direct observation) or reviews a series of video recorded consultations (video debrief) and then provides feedback to the doctor in training on these consultations.

The aims of the visit are:

  • Educational. The visitor can share his or her reflections of the consultation process and content and share their own experience and approaches to patients. This is the main aim of the ECT visit.
  • Progress assessment. The ECT visit provides a “snapshot” of the doctor in training’s performance. Each ECT visitor provides feedback directly to the doctor in training, talks to the GP supervisor and also completes a structured visit report that is sent to WAGPET, the doctor in training and the GP Supervisor

The ECT visit process

All prevocational doctors receive an ECT visit once in their term. GP Registrars receive at least five ECT Visits during their time in the training program.  With the regionalisation of the WAGPET training program many ECT visitors will be an experienced GP from the region.  However, if there are insufficient experienced ECT visitors in the region, WAGPET will arrange for an ECT visitor to come from another region.  Alternatively, WAGPET may arrange for the GP Registrar to record a number of consultations and send these recordings to a central Medical Educator for review and to provide formal feedback (video consultation).

The ECT visitor roster is co-ordinated from WAGPET and the visits arranged for the first or second part of the semester, unless the doctor in training is working part time. 

Visits are organised by the visitor with the doctor in training. It is essential that the visit is scheduled for a time which suits the ECT visitor, the GP Registrar and the Practice, and that the practice is aware of the date and time prior to the visit. 

When an ECT visit has been scheduled for the doctor in training it is important that sufficient patients are booked. Ideally there should be 2-3 patients per hour so that there is time available between consultations to allow the ECT Visitor to provide discuss the consultations and provide feedback to the doctor in training. 

At the time of booking the appointment, patients should be advised there will be a second GP in the room during the consultation and ensure that the patient gives consent.  For female GP Registrars with a possible predominance of female patients this may be particularly important if the ECT visitor is a male GP.  The patient can request that teh ECT visitor not be present during the consultation.

Under some circumstances the ECT visit may be arranged as a video consultation review. In this case the doctor in training will need to have set up the video equipment, obtained written patient consent and accumulated on video a number of patient consultations to discuss and review.

Example ECT Visit report

Video consent form

For more details about video consultation review

After the visit the ECT visitor completes a report on the visit on WAGPET elearning. On completion electronically the visitor, WAGPET and the doctor in training are notified of the report.  The GP Supervisor will receive a copy of the report via WAGPET elearning team.

ECT visitor training

All WAGPET ECT Visitors attend an orientation through a blended approach – independent online module completion, followed by a workshop (based in Perth) or a virtual classroom session. The orientation focuses on consultation process and content, giving feedback, the process of the ECT visit and administrative issues.

Each two years WAGPET conducts an upskilling one day workshop for all ECT visitors.

In addition, WAGPET encourages doctors in training to provide feedback on their experience of the ECT visit through WAGPET elearning. This data is de-identified and aggregated to provide each ECT visitor with an individual feedback summary. The individual data can also be compared to a benchmarked feedback of all ECT visitor.

You can review the Education Framework for ECT visitors   as part of the whole GP Trainer Framework.

For more information please contact

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