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GP leaders call for community based training opportunities for pre-vocational doctors

Advocacy UGPA Media releases View all media releases GP leaders call for community based training opportunities for pre-vocational doctors

19 February 2015

Australian general practice leaders are calling for the urgent establishment of a community based training program supporting rotations into general practice for prevocational doctors, highlighting the vital role of positive exposure to general practice for all junior doctors.

Citing a recent study that reveals the former Prevocational General Practice Placements Program (PGPPP) rated better than all hospital rotations in 15 out of 20 areas, United General Practice Australia (UGPA) is urging the government to work with the profession to develop a sustainable model to provide junior doctors with rotations into community based settings, supporting a viable general practice workforce and overall health system sustainability.

The study, Comparing general practice and hospital rotations, compared general practice rotations with hospital rotations in relation to teaching and support, acquisition of skills and knowledge, and role autonomy.

The government’s decision to cease the PGPPP from January 2015 came as a shock to the profession as the program has for many years enhanced participating doctors’ understanding of general practice and the role GPs play in achieving positive health outcomes at the primary and secondary healthcare sectors.

The overall purpose of the PGPPP was to provide professional, well supervised and educational general practice placements for junior doctors as part of their training, ensuring positive early exposure to the profession and encouraging students to make general practice their career of choice.

UGPA unanimously believes that junior doctors – regardless of their ultimate choice of speciality – must have the opportunity to gain exposure to general practice as part of their training. Without a community based prevocational training program, there is no opportunity for junior doctors to experience community-based medicine before committing to specialist vocational training.

If a viable future general practice profession is to be maintained, the government must establish a model comprising quality community-based placements for junior doctors as a matter of priority. UGPA urges the government to make a firm commitment to work with the profession in the designing of a prevocational training model that is both financially sustainable and serves as a long-term solution to junior doctor training.

The Government commissioned an expert reference group, which considered the matter of community-based training opportunities for junior doctors. UGPA is urging the Government to release the recommendations from this report.

Further information

RACGP: Debbie Guest 0439 585 798

ACRRM: A/Prof Lucie Walters 0409 692 359

AMA: John Flannery 0419 494 761

RDAA: Dr Ian Kamerman 0427 241 900

GPRA: Dr Jomini Cheong 0406 214 076

GPSA: Dr Bruce Willett 0448 600 959

AGPN: Dr Nicholas Demediu 0418 550 827

AGPN: Dr Rod Pearce AM 0417 864 774