From a family medicine program to vocational registration
RACGP has, since its inception in 1958, been committed to continuing education, research and preventive medicine programs.
In 1958, general practitioners seeking membership of the college were eligible only if they had been graduated for at least seven years and had been in general practice for at least five years. Members had to commit to undertake and continue approved postgraduate study while in active practice.
30 years later, while consistently avowing that the college was a practical learning body which would not engage in politics, in 1988–1989, and for the second time in its brief history, the college was forced to negotiate with government for a fair deal while at the same time managing difference of opinion and a damaged relationship with the Australian Medical Association (AMA), who were opposed to their stance.
Throughout the period from 1989–1996, the RACGP established a nexus between standards, quality and remuneration through voluntary vocational registration.
In 1996 vocational training and registration became mandatory and were tied to Medicare payments for GPs.