In practice: what drives the prescription of antidepressants?


GPs were invited to provide feedback on supporting best practice antidepressant prescribing in upcoming online focus groups.

A study has been commissioned to examine the extent to which effective current practices support mental health issues, including the prescription of antidepressants by general practitioners.

In this week’s In Practice, GPs can also learn about upcoming conferences, legal aid workshops and the success of CrazySocks4Docs Day.

Invitation to review antidepressant prescribing behaviors
The Department of Health commissioned Nous Group to undertake a review of the drivers of antidepressant prescribing behaviors, with a focus on children and adolescents.

The review seeks to understand:

  • what is in place to support best practice responses to mental health issues and how it works
  • drivers of antidepressant prescribing
  • what updates could be made to treatment guidelines, training and broader system response.

GPs are invited to participate in one of two online discussion groups in July, with approximately 10 participants per group, to contribute to this review. GPs who take time off from their practice to participate are eligible for reimbursement of $150 per hour, using an electronically-delivered Visa gift card.

Monday, July 11, 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m., or Wednesday, July 13, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (AEST)
A Microsoft calendar invitation will be sent for the designated chat group.

Entry must be registered by Friday, June 24 with Angela Young and Samara Barchet.

GPADD22: Vulnerable populations

The General Medicine and Addiction Conference (GPADD) is a great opportunity to learn and network with GPs and other healthcare professionals working in this field.

People with substance abuse or addiction are, by definition, often vulnerable. But this year’s conference will focus on addressing populations who experience additional vulnerabilities that affect substance use, including the LGBTIQA+ community, refugees and asylum seekers, homeless people, and people in detention.

GPADD22 is open to all GPs, new fellows, GPs-in-training and others working in the alcohol and other drug field with GPs.

Saturday August 20, 9 a.m. – 5:40 p.m.
RACV City Club, Melbourne
Participation is eligible for 40 RACGP CPD accredited activity points

Register online or get more information in the online flyer.

Legal aid workshop for general practitioners

The RACGP Victoria IMG Committee presents a practical workshop on legal aid, focusing on:

  • how to handle complaints and deal with difficult patients
  • maintain good medical records and telehealth
  • ownership of results and investigations, and the risks of corporatization of care
  • report writing, WorkCover and TAC.

Participants will hear from experts and spend time working on case studies.

Saturday July 30, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
RACGP House, 100 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne
Fees: Members $45.00 I Non-members $55.00

Register online.

CrazySocks4Docs day is a huge success

In support of CrazySocks4Docs Day, the RACGP shop sold crazy socks to help educate doctors about mental health, with all proceeds going to Beyond Blue.

An astonishing response from GPs across the country helped sell 357 pairs of socks, enabling the college to raise $1,940 for the Beyond Blue charity.

GPs have been doing the tough stuff over the past two years, so it’s more important than ever to look out for each other and show support for those struggling.

The RACGP hopes that CrazySocks4Docs Day will highlight the importance of checking in with colleagues and starting conversations about health and wellness, and thanks everyone who bought a pair of socks, wore a pair of socks socks or shared a photo on social media at #CrazySocks4Docs.

The college has large resources for self-care and mental healthor for confidential doctor-to-doctor telephone services Physician Health Advisory Service.

New HPOS educational resource

The Health Professional Education Resources Gateway offers a range of personalized educational resources for healthcare professionals, with the new addition looking at Online Services for Healthcare Professionals (HPOS).

The new simulator, HPOS Fundamentalsprovides:

  • an overview of the HPOS configuration
  • an overview of the main HPOS features
  • further analysis of the specific characteristics of HPOS.

HPOS is an Internet portal providing healthcare professionals and organizations with a simple and secure way to do business with government online. It provides online self-service access to government programs, payments and services. GPs need a PRODA (Provider Digital Access) account to access HPOS.

Access to Services Australia’s comprehensive healthcare professional education catalog is available on line.

Services Australia is currently revamping its website, which will be launched later this year.

Any ideas or suggestions on how to improve the website, or feedback on a new education product or existing resources, can be emailed to [email protected]

Applications close for Academic Post 2023 on August 1

The Postgraduate program is an Australian General Practitioner Training (AGPT) program for GPs in training to develop their academic skills through individualized learning plans, with support from training providers, universities and the RACGP.

The program lasts 12 months and gives GPs-in-training the opportunity to learn skills in research, teaching and critical thinking, usually completed alongside clinical training requirements.

General practitioners in training are also encouraged to apply for AJGP Where AIDA specialized academic positions, if eligible.

The RACGP has a range of resources to help prepare for a successful application, including videos and checklists. Inquiries can be sent to [email protected]

Are your skills in dermatology only superficial?

The Primary Care Dermatology Certificate has been developed to help GPs and GPs-in-training increase their expertise and confidence when faced with dermatological cases in their practice.

Participants will learn to better understand and treat a wider range of common skin conditions (including skin cancer), as well as recognize conditions requiring urgent referral.

More information including next accredited CPD workshops (worth up to 80 CPD points), special savings and registration is available on RACGP website.

Any other inquiries can be sent to [email protected]

Take part in a research project

The RACGP is launching a call for expressions of interest to participate in a research project led by a fellow member of the RACGP. Current opportunities include researcher-led surveys, interviews, focus groups, and clinical trials on a wide range of topics relevant to general practice.

More information is available on the GP Research Project Billboard.

Australian Patient Association (APA) – 2022 Awards

The appointments are Open until June 30 for ‘Most Outstanding General Practitioner’ in the 2022 APA Awards. More information is available on the APA website.

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