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A great collaboration
By Andrew Daniels
GPs and pharmacists in the ACT have joined forces to develop a resource
kit for community pharmacists who teach GP registrars completing
placements in GP practices about what pharmacies do.
The kit – A resource kit for community
pharmacists who teach – is the brainchild
of Dr Rashmi Sharma from Coast City
Country GP Training and the ACT
Medicare Local. It was written by Simon
Carroll and Paul Mackay, from the
Pharmaceutical Society of Australia,
and Dr Sharma.
According to the kit’s introduction,
the rationale for its development
‘Firstly there was recognition of
the potential role that community
pharmacists could play in the teaching
of GP registrars during their placements
within general practices and secondly
there was recognition of the gap in
support for pharmacists around this
element of their role.’
The kit was piloted at the Isabella Plains
pharmacy and Chemist on Northbourne
Isabella Plains pharmacist Kathleen
Tran was very positive about the kit and
its potential for assisting in building
relationships between doctors and
Dr Sharma told Australian Pharmacist
that pharmacists could play an
important role in training doctors.
‘Doctors should know what happens
to a script once they have written it.
It is important to know the full story
and to understand what happens
after they have made their prescribing
decision. This interdisciplinary teaching
also provides an opportunity for
both professions to gain a better
understanding of one another’s roles,’
The kit is used when GP registrars
spend 90 minutes in a community
pharmacy shadowing the pharmacist.
In that time they see dispensing,
counselling, the pharmacy layout and
what over-the-counter medicines
Dr Sharma said that the training
exposed GP registrars to things like the
20-day rule and safety nets which in turn
increased their understanding of what
patients experienced and dealt with
when they visited a doctor and were
She said the experience gave the
registrars a better understanding of the
whole patient health care experience.
‘ There is another teaching opportunity
which can be delivered within the
general practice that discusses more
broadly the legislation surrounding
pharmacy and medicines. This provides
an opportunity for the pharmacist to
visit the local practice,’ she said.
‘A positive outcome from this is that
it improves communication between
pharmacists and GPs because they have
finally met one another.’
Co-author Simon Carroll said the benefit
for pharmacies and pharmacists was
that the kit provided a reason for GPs to
make contact with their local pharmacy
if they did not already have a close
‘Building a positive relationship with the
local GP practice underpins the whole
concept. It involves the pharmacist in
the wider healthcare team and builds
a communication bridge with the local
GPs so that when the pharmacist calls
the GP practice about a patient, the GP
can put a face to the name at the end
of the phone. When there is a positive
relationship in place the GP knows that
whatever the pharmacist is calling about
is important,’ Mr Carroll said.
The resource kit and another sister
resource written by Dr Sharma for
practice nurses was awarded the
National General Practice Education
and Training Innovation award in 2013.
This was formal recognition of the
important role that others in the primary
healthcare landscape can contribute
towards the training of future GPs.
Pharmacists interested in using the
kit should contact their local general
practice and discuss it with the GP
supervisor to see if they are interested.
The project was funded by Coast City
Country General Practice Training,
the Regional Training Provider for GP
training for Canberra and surrounds.
The resource kit is available from:
Dr Rashmi Sharma and Kathleen Tran.
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