Frequently asked questions


Find the answers to frequently asked questions

 


Rural Generalists are defined under the ‘Collingrove Agreement’, which provides a national framework for their scope of practice.

Under this agreement, the definition of a Rural Generalist is:

A Rural Generalist (RG) is a medical practitioner who is trained to meet the specific current and future health care needs of Australian rural and remote communities, in a sustainable and cost-effective way, by providing both comprehensive general practice and emergency care, and required components of other medical specialist care in hospital and community settings as part of a rural healthcare team.


On 11 November 2017, The Department of Health appointed Professor Paul Worley as first National Rural Health Commissioner.

His role is to work with regional, rural and remote communities, the health sector, universities, specialist training colleges and government to improve rural health policies, champion the cause of rural practice, and to build a National Rural Generalist Pathway that creates a sustainable locally trained medical workforce to meet the needs of regional, rural and remote communities across Australia.

The National Rural Generalist Pathway (the Pathway) is intended to provide a nationally consistent training framework that will provide trainees with the medical skills needed to meet the specific needs of rural and remote communities.


The RACGP has been working with the National Rural Health Commissioner, Professor Paul Worley, the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) and other members of the Rural Generalist Taskforce on the development of the National Rural Generalist Pathway.

The National Rural Generalist Taskforce was established in May 2018 to guide the development of the pathway and harness the broad-based expertise of the rural health sector.

The taskforce’s National Rural Generalist Pathway advice was released in December 2018, including recommendations aligned to RACGP’s curriculum, standards, position statement and vision for NRPG implementation.

Following consultation with rural members and general practice training organisations, the RACGP announced the development of our own component of the national plan – a Rural Generalist Fellowship (FRACGP-RG), which is now underway.


Yes. Following consultation with rural members and general practice training organisations, the RACGP announced the development of a Rural Generalist Fellowship (FRACGP-RG) in February 2019, which is now underway.


Development of the RACGP’s Rural Generalist Fellowship (FRACGP-RG) is in progress. There are two main streams of work ongoing:

  • Seeking recognition of Rural Generalist Medicine as a protected title and a specialised field within the specialty of general practice;
  • Updating the Fellowship in Advanced Rural General Practice (FARGP) curriculum to align with the requirements of a national Rural Generalist training framework.

With an updated curriculum the Fellowship will be re-branded as FRACGP-RG. This new curriculum will also be submitted as part of the process in gaining recognition of Rural Generalist Medicine as a specialised field within the specialty of general practice.


The intention of recognising Rural Generalist Medicine as a protected title and specialised field within the specialty of general practice is to support the development, and enhance the attractiveness to trainees, of a specific training pathway for this career; thereby developing a workforce that can provide extended services for the healthcare needs of rural and remote communities.

Rural Generalist Medicine is a well-established model of care, practiced by many general practitioners in rural and remote areas across Australia.

These doctors are broadly skilled to enable them to address important gaps in rural services such as obstetrics, mental health, palliative care, and emergency care. However, there is no nationally consistent training framework, or a single recognised title, so they are often forced to navigate complex and often conflicting training, and credentialing and employment arrangements that are inconsistent across jurisdictions and health services.

National recognition will address these complexities and inconsistencies and signal a clear and compelling career path to this unique model of rural medical practice.
 


An application for national recognition of Rural Generalist Medicine as a specialised field within the specialty of general practice must be submitted to the Australian Medical Council (AMC) and the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) for consideration.

The application process is broken into two stages:

Stage 1 - Initial assessment of proposal
We will submit a preliminary proposal to the MBA, describing the objectives of the proposal in broad terms. The Board seeks the AMC’s advice. The application proceeds to Stage 2. This initial assessment of proposal is estimated to be completed in six months.
 
Stage 2 - Detailed assessment of proposal (application)
During this stage, the AMC assesses the detailed case for recognition of a new field of specialty practice on behalf of the MBA. This stage is a rigorous assessment of the case that includes a public consultation process and results in a recommendation being made to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) for final approval which could take twelve to eighteen months.
 


A Rural Generalist Recognition Taskforce was established in June 2019, and meets approximately once a month, with membership including the RACGP, ACRRM, the Department of Health, and the Office of the National Rural Health Commissioner.  The aim of the Taskforce is to enable and drive forward the joint work of the RACGP and ACRRM to achieve recognition of Rural Generalism as a specialised field within the specialty of general practice.
 
In addition, the RACGP has engaged someone to oversee the application to the Australian Medical Council (AMC) and the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) for the recognition of RG as a specialised field within the specialty of general practice.

In order to support this work and ensure that agile decision-making can be made, an RACGP RG recognition committee has been formed with a membership of key RACGP council members, supported by RACGP staff.
 


A Rural Generalist Recognition Taskforce was established in June 2019, and meets approximately once a month, with membership including the RACGP, ACRRM, the Department of Health, and the Office of the National Rural Health Commissioner. 

The purpose of the Taskforce is:

  • To successfully establish recognition and protected title for Rural Generalist Medicine as a specialised field within the specialty of general practice
  • To oversee the development of the formal application and supporting consultation processes associated with the application for recognition by Medical Board of Australia.


It is expected that recognition could take up to 24 months. It is a rigorous process that includes an extensive step-by-step approach including consultation with the Medical Board of Australia (MBA), the Australian Medical Council (AMC), the Office of Best Practice Regulation, and the Council for Australian Governments (COAG) Health Council.


Yes. Candidates training towards FARGP will be offered the opportunity to transition to FRACGP-RG when it is launched.

Current state - FARGP 
The RACGP’s Fellowship in Advanced Rural General Practice (FARGP) qualification is recognised as an appropriate end-point for Rural Generalist training on Australia’s current state and territory Rural Generalist programs and in the Australian General Practice Training Program’s Rural Generalist Training Policy.
 
Currently, candidates have four years to complete the requirements and achieve dual RACGP fellowship (FRACGP, FARGP). Dual Fellowship verifies that GPs have the skills, training, and registration necessary to work unsupervised in general practice anywhere in Australia. Advanced Rural Skills Training, a key component of the Fellowship in Advanced Rural General Practice (FARGP) curriculum, equips GPs for secondary care in their chosen discipline e.g. obstetrics, emergency medicine or anaesthetics.
 
Future state - FRACGP-RG
The FARGP curriculums are being updated to align with a national Rural Generalist Medicine training framework and may include additional requirements.
The new curriculum will be submitted as part of the process in gaining recognition of Rural Generalist Medicine as a specialised field within the specialty of general practice.
Transition requirements for FARGP candidates will be confirmed as part of this process.
 


The Fellowship will offer flexible entry and exit options at different career stages. It will also be accessible to practising GPs who want to acquire new skills or have their existing skills recognised by the RACGP, to better address the changing needs of their communities.

Transition processes will be available for experienced GPs who hold a FARGP and experienced rural GPs who hold Fellowship of the RACGP (FRACGP).  


No, not entirely but the FARGP curriculums are being updated to align with a national Rural Generalist Medicine training framework and may include additional requirements.

Once updated, the FARGP qualification will be replaced by a four year standalone Rural Generalist Fellowship (FRACGP-RG) offering robust, modern curriculums for trainees.

The new curriculum will also be submitted as part of the process in gaining recognition of Rural Generalist Medicine as a specialised field within the specialty of general practice.

  

Can’t find the information you’re looking for?

Contact RACGP Rural

racgp.org.au/rural 
1800 636 764 
 rural@racgp.org.au 

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