GPs are an integral part of rural communities, and the skills they practise depend on the context in which they work and the specific needs of their community.
Applications for the RACGP’s 2021 AGPT Program showed a 40% increase in junior doctors, compared to applications for 2020 training, indicating an interest in rural generalism.
The Fellowship in Advanced Rural General Practice (FARGP) is delivered by RACGP Rural, and recognises the additional skills and training GPs need for rural practice to meet community needs. With over 677 graduates to date and 111 new enrolments over the last year,58 the FARGP qualification is awarded in addition to FRACGP and has pathways for GPs in training and practising GPs.
Almost half (40%) of the rural workforce is made up of international medical graduates and overseas-trained doctors.35 Commencing in 2019, the RACGP’s Practice Experience Program (PEP) is a self-directed education program to support non-vocationally registered (non-VR) doctors on their journey to FRACGP. The PEP is partially funded under the Australian Government’s Stronger Rural Health Strategy for doctors based in rural areas (Modified Monash Model [MMM] areas 2–7), with some exceptions approved by the government. In July 2020, there were 367 active participants in the PEP.58