General practice – Become a specialist in life
Do you want to help close the gap with RACGP’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander GPs? Improving the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is one of Australia’s highest health priorities.
The RACGP is extremely proud to acknowledge our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander GP members working from the city to the outback and we honour our Indigenous Fellows with a unique sash to wear with their ceremonial Fellowship gown.
Whether it be to help ‘close the gap’, to travel, or to explore a new and exciting vocation, many of our members report that the diversity of general practice provides a unique, challenging and rewarding workplace, one where they can make a real difference in the lives of their patients and communities.
General practice offers person-centred healthcare, based on a foundation of trust between patients and their chosen GP. A career in general practice offers enrichment, reward, financial security, the opportunity for personal and professional development, and a truly diverse experience in practising medicine. GPs are acknowledged as the foundation of the Australian healthcare system.
What is general practice?
Don’t let the word ‘general’ mislead you – general practice is a unique discipline of largely relationship-based specialist medical care providing patient centred, continuing, comprehensive and coordinated whole-person healthcare to individuals and families in their community.
GPs are specialists in their patient’s life from beginning to end, which places general practice at the centre of an effective primary healthcare system.
General practice is the largest medical speciality in Australia and is the cornerstone of Australia’s healthcare system. General practice is often the first port of call for a patient, with GPs trained to treat the whole person and a range of often co-existing medical conditions. GPs also focus on preventive health and are best placed to provide advice on a range of ways to remain healthy.
What do GPs do?
Working in general practice is different to working in a hospital and also different to working in many other specialties. Working in the community, GPs often see a patient in the early stages of an illness when the problem is undifferentiated. Not knowing what the next patient might present with and dealing with undifferentiated problems is challenging – but is also one of the most rewarding aspects of general practice. GPs also manage an enormous variety of different problems and conditions, requiring a broad span of knowledge so you’ll never get bored – no two days or patient presentations are the same.
Being based in the community, the access to services and investigations can be different to that of a hospital. GPs get to know what is available and how to support their patients to access help; this requires knowledge of the individual patient, their circumstances and their community.
Getting to know patients and offering continuity of care across someone’s lifespan is a special privilege of general practice. Over time, GPs really get to know their patients and their patient’s lives; some GPs even support the birth of the child of someone who they cared for many years before.
Lastly, GPs have an opportunity to practice preventive medicine. The chance to be proactive in helping patients maintain their health can also be very rewarding.
How do I apply for general practice training
The Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) Program is the leading program for medical graduates wishing to pursue a career as a GP. The RACGP is widely recognised as a leader in the provision of general practice education and training and has supported more than 23,000 GPs achieve Fellow
You can find more information on the AGPT Program and how to apply on the AGPT Program page.
Why choose the RACGP?
I chose AGPT with the RACGP because …‘I heard great things about it and the great curriculum. The RACGP has such great support, resources, reputation and an overall a great training program. The examinations and curriculum were also in a familiar setting and complementary to what I have done through medical school.
The RACGP supported me during my training through multiple resources and avenues. The main support that really helped was the RACGP Indigenous Fellowship Excellence Program (IFEP). This program was well organised, informative and supportive, which was provided to Indigenous RACGP registrars based around exam preparation and general practice.
It is hard to say what I have enjoyed the most about registrar training as it has been so great. I would have to say definitely working with Associate Professor Dr Bradley Murphy. He is an amazing Aboriginal doctor and mentor.
As an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctor, this has been such a rewarding and blessed experience. My other joy would be caring for my community and my mob.’ - Dr Jeanette Wimbus, AGPT Registrar
The RACGP is committed to growing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander GP workforce and provides dedicated support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander:
- candidates applying for RACGP’s AGPT Program
- registrars working towards RACGP Fellowship.
The RACGP undertakes a range of activities dedicated to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors and registrars throughout their general practice training journey. With the RACGP, you will have access to:
- a face to face workshop to assist you in preparing for the RACGP’s AGPT national assessment and interviews
- GP mentors
- Indigenous forum on shareGP
- Indigenous Fellowship Excellence Program (IFEP)
- Growing Strong Award
- with more innovative tools and resources on the way.
The RACGP partners with key Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, including Australian Indigenous Doctors Association (AIDA), Indigenous General Practice Registrars Network (IGPRN) and the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO).