For most of our GP training (and especially during our GP placements) we've had ‘day release’ on most Wednesdays, and today was our final session.
For those reading this who aren’t yet GP trainees, day release is the time in the week where we get a reprieve from our clinical responsibilities and have an opportunity to meet up with our peers in small groups to see how things are going.
Of course, there is a bit more structure to it than what I am describing at the moment. We usually did a PBSGL module (short for Problem Based Small Group Learning) where we had discussions around a particular topic that we had identified as a learning need. In addition to this, part of the session was facilitated by a GP who helped us to grapple with various concepts related to general practice as well as various difficult cases we had seen.
But the most useful thing by far was to use the session as a means of providing mutual support in dealing with the stresses of learning how to be a GP and with life in general.
In short, it was always nice to have a bit of a breather in the middle of the week. I’m quite certain it has been a sanity saver on many occasions, especially in the lead up to our various assessments, reviews and exams.
Anyway, today was our final Wednesday. Everyone had brought along various breakfast goodies and extra time had been allotted so we could consume it all and have a generally nice time. The whole thing was making me feel quite nostalgic. The last four years had been hectic, especially the last 12 months. But we had done it! High fives all round!
For me, the experience of GP training has changed me for the better. It has not been passive ‘learning by osmosis’ type of training, but an active, challenging, mind over matter kind of experience. Considerably harder than I had expected, but far more worthwhile too.
Today though, the overwhelming feeling among us (as far as I could tell) was one of optimism. Sure, we were being plunged into an area of medicine where massive challenges lie ahead. But isn’t that part of the fun?
One thing is for certain though, I’m definitely going to need some kind of substitute for Wednesday day release. Is anyone up for organising something?