Dr Kaye Atkinson
BMed (Hons), FRACGP, MFM (Monash)
My focus as Censor-in-Chief continues to be our robust, integrated education framework for lifelong learning. This provides a comprehensive journey for our members by linking pre-vocational and vocational training, continuing professional development (CPD) and our post-Fellowship framework.
I am very proud of our members’ enthusiasm to take the journey with us: to acquire, retain and gain skills and knowledge to meet the complex primary health needs of Australians.
I cannot emphasise enough the importance of how the RACGP, working collaboratively with Regional Training Organisations (RTOs) and other organisations both domestic and international, is achieving great outcomes for our members and the profession.
While many think of education as separate from advocacy, our strength is that we combine both. This has seen the successful introduction of programs that are contextually relevant and responsive to the needs of members and their patients, and that take account of future training needs.
Our approach to training over the next few years will be ‘steady as we go’, ensuring that our general practice doctors in training, general practice supervisors and practices have stability. At the same time we will look to how we can increase support for all of our members working towards Fellowship, starting with the introduction of the Practice Experience Program for non–vocationally trained doctors.
We are seeking recognition of rural generalism as a specialised field of the specialty of general practice, working in collaboration with the federal government and relevant external parties. Although a relatively difficult and elongated process, we are hopeful of achieving this outcome within the next 18 months.
We continue to develop curricula and education programs for our members wanting to develop additional skills in specific areas of practice. The first program – the Australian Defence Force Professional Performance Framework – has been approved, with more programs in specific areas of practice to come.
Internationally, via the RACGP’s established and emerging relationships with international colleagues in general practice/family medicine, our work has focused on helping partners build strong primary health systems. We are also focused on how we can best support our international colleagues who come to work in Australia. We have developed a more robust and comprehensive program for specialist recognition, ensuring that doctors who want to work in Australian general practice have a smooth transition and receive the support they need to provide high-quality care to the community.
This year we delivered the largest-ever RACGP examinations, with 3051 participants completing the Key Feature Problem (KFP) examination, 2409 completing the Applied Knowledge Test (AKT) and 1974 completing the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). We thank the many RACGP members who volunteer their expertise and time to prepare, organise and supervise the various assessments and exams, and congratulate participants who have successfully completed their exams.