GP placement student toolkit

Publication date:
07 October 2021
Date range:

Student testimonials

Daniel Gilbert

During my placement at Northgate my practice educator and other physios spent the time to develop my skills of interviewing. The subjective element is so important and initially I would ask all the questions we were taught at uni but with no clear aim.

My biggest take away was to develop a hypothesis early on and to test the hypothesis. The skills from uni such as epidemiology of pathologies,signs and symptoms, pain patterns should help for the hypothesis.

A good understanding of an objective assessment would be very important. Physios at Northgate helped develop these skills and I continue to practice them regularly. Myotomes and dermatome testing, reflexes and what the results mean.

Special tests,when to use them and the influence of the results In the overall assessment based on the specificity or sensitivity of the test used.

Once the objective assessment is complete and you have either ruled in, or ruled out your hypotheses, having an idea of treatment or referrals.Knowledge of good exercises to prescribe for common pathologies, when to massage,tape etc.

A big takeaway from this placement was being taught and seeing first hand the influence of psychosocial factors. As students it's very difficult to delve into this area as we are limited by our interviewing skills and pattern recognition due to lack of experience but one quick question such as "was anything else happening in your life around the time of the pain starting" may open the patient up to talking about a stressful event in their life.

Josh Albone

I would say do not be afraid to ask questions, some of the methods and cases the guys there use and encounter are very advanced and at times can be difficult to make sense of, so make sure you ask if you're not sure on something because they are always more than happy to explain.

I would also recommend asking the physios what books they would recommend reading. Trying to decide which topic to research and what specific literature can be difficult,so asking them for guidance is a good idea. Going away and doing some research of your own will be very beneficial to your development.

My final piece of advice is not being afraid to make mistakes. When I was there I would worry I was doing something wrong/my assessment going in the wrong direction. However, looking back,the physio I would be working with would not let me go far off track, and would step in and assist where necessary, so go with your instinct and dont be afraid to make mistakes.