What is a GP?
The general practitioner (GP) plays a central role in the delivery of health care to the Australian community. A career in general practice offers enrichment, reward, financial security, the opportunity for personal and professional development, the opportunity for a diverse experience in practising medicine, and collegiality.
In Australia, the GP:
- Is most likely the first point of contact in matters of personal health
- Coordinates the care of patients and refers patients to other specialists
- Cares for patients in a whole of person approach and in the context of their work, family and community
- Cares for patients of all ages, both sexes, children and adults across all disease categories
- Cares for patients over a period of their lifetime
- Provides advice and education on health care
- Performs legal processes such as certification of documents or provision of reports in relation to motor transport or work accidents
General Practice is a medical speciality (in some countries called family medicine). Entry to the speciality may be achieved by the admission to Fellowship of the RACGP.
Fellowship entitles a GP to practice unsupervised anywhere in Australia, and to access a specialist rate of remuneration under Medicare, the Australian health insurance scheme. Most doctors will need to undertake the College assessments to achieve Fellowship.
The RACGP encourages medical graduates from a wide range of backgrounds, whether in Australia or located outside Australia, to consider a career in general practice in Australia. The College recognises the diversity among doctors who may wish to become GPs and offers a number of training opportunities and pathways to Fellowship.