26 February 2020

RACGP boosting the rural and remote GP workforce

Australia’s largest representative body of rural and remote general practitioners, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), has today announced a strengthened training program for registrars keen to pursue a rewarding career as a rural or remote GP.

Future GPs with an interest in obtaining a Rural Generalist Fellowship can get a head start and secure one of 150 RACGP Australian General Practice Training – Rural Generalist (AGPT RG) places in 2021.

Vice President of the RACGP and Chair of RACGP Rural, Associate Professor Ayman Shenouda, encouraged those with an interest in serving rural and remote communities to sign up.

“This is a fantastic opportunity and I urge future GPs to take up one of these positions, you certainly won’t regret it.

“Our AGPT RG program will train future GPs to deliver both comprehensive general practice and emergency care as well as components of other medical specialist care in hospital and community settings.

“You will develop skills in areas where there are gaps in rural services such as obstetrics, mental health, palliative care and emergency medicine. Having this range of skills under your belt at the end of your registrar training will be enormously beneficial to your career – you are setting yourself up for future success.

“Not only that, registrars undertaking AGPT RG training will have flexibility in timing and can chose to complete the components of the training in an order that works best for them.”

Speaking from the RACGP Rural GP Summit held in Alice Springs today, Associate Professor Shenouda said that registrars undertaking AGPT RG can look forward to the many benefits of being based in a rural or remote community.

“I think too often we focus on the challenges of serving rural communities such as there not being enough GPs and the issues involved in addressing this. It is of course vital to help areas of Australia in desperate need of GPs struggling to attract registrars and junior GPs.

“If we highlight the many positives of being a GP in a rural or remote area, we can help attract more registrars and junior GPs to the places that need them.

“The reality is that being based in a rural or remote area is an incredibly rewarding experience. As I often say to medical students if you train in a rural area you will find the local medical community, including nearby referral hospitals, extremely welcoming. Straight away you will be a member of a tight-knit team.

“You will get to know the patients you treat and find it easy to become involved in the local community, your presence will not be taken for granted.

“There is a simple reason why GPs who train and upskill in a rural or remote setting tend to remain there caring for their patients – they are thriving in their work and enjoying what they do.”

The RACGP Vice President said that the RACGP was well placed to deliver the AGPT RG training in partnership with Regional Training Organisations (RTOs).

“RACGP has more than 41,000 members and more than 8,500 of them live and work in rural and remote areas so we are perfectly placed as an organisation to support GPs outside of major cities.

“Every community across Australia deserves access to highly trained GPs who understand the unique needs and circumstances of rural and remote areas and the RACGP is playing a key role in making that happen.”

Media enquiries

Journalists and media outlets seeking comment and information from the RACGP can contact:

John Ronan

Senior Media Advisor