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1 December 2017

Message from the Chair, Dr Ayman Shenouda

As another year draws to a close, it is a perfect time to reflect upon and celebrate what we have achieved and to start planning for the new year.

RACGP Rural was busy at GP17 with two active learning modules (ALM), the annual Members Meeting, the National Faculties Evening and the Fellowship in Advanced Rural General Practice (FARGP) networking luncheon. My thanks to all who worked so hard to make these events so successful.

A highlight for me was presenting the awards to the following RACGP Rural members: Brian Williams Award – Dr Denise Powell, Rural Registrar of the Year – Dr Cassie Rickard and Rural Medical Student Bursary Award – Wai Yee Yum.

The Rural Health Commissioner appointment was announced as Professor Paul Worley and it was great to see him addressing rural general practitioners (GPs) at GP17. We look forward to working closely with Professor Worley to ensure your interests are considered as he progresses with his priorities.

RACGP Rural is engaging with the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) and the development of the proposed Diploma of Rural Anaesthetics. This Diploma will provide consistency of anaesthetic training, access to educational resources and standardised examinations. I have spoken at some length with Dr Rodney Mitchell, the vice-president of ANZCA. He has assured me that RACGP Rural will continue to work with ANZCA to implement the right governance structures involving all Colleges and to maintain a role in the ongoing development and subsequent management of the Diploma.

My thanks to all our members, the RACGP Rural Board, the Rural Education Committee and our dedicated staff for another great year. If any of you have any feedback or comments please email them to us at

I wish you all an enjoyable holiday season with family and friends and a happy and safe 2018!

Recent Fellowship in Advanced Rural General Practice graduates

The RACGP Rural Chair and Board warmly congratulate the following members who have recently completed the FARGP.

State FARGP graduates
Queensland Dr Csongor Oltvolgyi
Queensland Dr Stephan Raubenheimer
Queensland Dr Hirofumi Haga
Victoria Dr Soe Min Tun
Victoria Dr Satpal Singh
New South Wales Dr Isobel Lang
Western Australia     Dr Georgina Stevenson

The FARGP enables registrars and practising GPs to build on their clinical skills and confidence to practice and meet the need of their rural and remote communities. To enrol or find out more, please email

FARGP video series

RACGP Rural is excited to announce the release of two videos featuring several FARGP graduates reflecting on their FARGP experiences and discussing the benefits and knowledge gained from completing the Fellowship. If you are a registrar or a practising GP and considering whether the FARGP could be for you, these videos may provide you with valuable insights.

You can easily access the videos via the FARGP webpage and learn what benefits the FARGP could bring you and your community. You can also contact the FARGP team on 1800 636 764 or via

Expressions of interest to join the Rural Education Committee

Expressions of interest to join the Rural Education Committee are sought from RACGP Rural members with an interest in enhancing excellence and innovation in rural general practice education and training.

The Rural Education Committee acts as an advisory committee to the RACGP Rural Board and provides advice to RACGP Rural on the education strategies for the FARGP, and more broadly, the provision of general practice education and training in rural and remote communities across Australia.

To be a Committee member, it is preferable that candidates are Fellows of The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), have experience in rural education and training, hold their FRACGP and FARGP (or working towards) and be a member of RACGP. The term of an elected member is three years.

For more information regarding the Rural Education Committee, please visit our webpage or contact us on 1800 636 764.

Expressions of interest are open from Thursday 30 November to 5.00 pm AEDT Thursday 21 December 2017. Please address your expression of interest to Lauren Cordwell, Manager, RACGP Rural via

RACGP Rural Censor in Papua New Guinea

Since 2008, RACGP Rural has maintained a partnership with the University of Papua New Guinea (PNG), offering learning resources, examiner and collegiate support. In a local health system that is critically underserviced, the University of PNG, the PNG Society for Rural and Remote Health and RACGP Rural are working together to develop a highly skilled rural generalist workforce through customised medical training by experienced doctors.

Dr Ken Wanguhu, RACGP Rural Censor recently travelled to Port Moresby to assist as an external examiner for the rural general practice component of the Master of Medicine (Rural) Program.

Joint Consultative Committee on Anaesthesia

The details of the Joint Consultative Committee on Anaesthesia (JCCA) continuing professional development (CPD) standard for the 2017–19 triennium are available on the JCCA website.

The recommended minimum CPD requirements for GPs who undertake anaesthetic procedures have been increased for this triennium. This change is in response to recommendations made by the Victorian Coroner in May 2016. The CPD recommendations were reviewed and approved by individual colleges. For credentialing purposes, completion of CPD does not cover currency or adequacy of clinical practice. These decisions are made on an individual basis by a credentialing body.

For more information about the JCCA and the changes, please visit the JCCA website or email

Introduction to point of care ultrasound workshop

Twenty-six GPs spent a day at GP17 exploring the applications of ultrasound as a diagnostic tool under the guidance of Dr Casey Parker, a GP ultrasound champion from Broome, and his team of experienced ultrasound clinicians. Local medical students generously supported the workshop as live models and Sonosite supplied hand-held devices for the GPs to use.

Participants learned about the growing importance of ultrasound in the diagnostic process in a primary care setting, particularly in communities with limited access to specialists. Everyone had a go at using the portable ultrasound devices on our models focusing on applications in trauma, intravenous access, deep wein thrombosis and first trimester obstetrics. The facilitators introduced the group to ultrasound image interpretation by sharing some of their personal image libraries.

The full-day ALM was well-received with one participant stating, “This was a fantastic course. Thank you!”

RACGP Rural is offering this ultrasound workshop in various locations over the coming months. Please visit our webpage for details.

Rural Hospital Clinical Simulation

The Rural Hospital Clinical Simulation kicked off GP17 in an impressive way. One rural GP described it as 'the best training l have ever done!'

Thirty-two rural and remote GPs from all over Australia came together at the Centre for Education and Workforce Development (CEWD), Rozelle Campus, for a day of intense, steep learning curves, teamwork and collegiality. Participants rotated through a series of emergency scenarios, from ‘Howard’, the simulation patient, collapsed in the simulation bathroom with chest pains, to the drowning of a 12-month old child. No simulation patients or ‘dummies’ were harmed in the process and participants banded together to form effective, well-organised emergency response teams as if they had been working together for years.

Almost 20 facilitators contributed to the success of this training: GP leads (Rural Education Committee chair and members), Health Education Training Institute (HETI) staff, simulation patients, simulation nurses, managers, CEWD and RACGP Rural staff.

We would like to take the opportunity to thank HETI and CEWD for collaborating with RACGP Rural; for the use of their state-of-the-art facilities and hardworking staff without whom this event would not have been possible.

RACGP Rural is already planning this innovative education for GP18 and we look forward to seeing you there.

RACGP Rural awards winners

Three exceptional individuals in various stages of a rural general practice career were presented with a rural award at the annual Members Meeting:

2017 Brian Williams award – Dr Denise Powell from Bundaberg, Queensland

2017 Rural Registrar of the Year award – Dr Cassie Rickard from Warragul, Victoria

2017 Medical Student Bursary award – Miss Wai Yee Yum from Underwood, Queensland

The RACGP Rural Chair and Board would like to congratulate the winners on their achievement and dedication to rural general practice. We wish them the very best for their future general practice journey.

RACGP Rural Board

After 25 years, Dr Tim Mooney decided to step down from the RACGP Rural Board. At the annual Member Meeting, the RACGP Rural Board took the opportunity to acknowledge the exceptional contributions Tim has made as Rural Censor and as a representative for Tasmania.

The RACGP Rural Chair, Board and RACGP Rural staff would like to thank Tim warmly for his cheerful enthusiasm and dedicated commitment to rural general practice.

Focussed Psychological Strategies Skills Training 2017

Seventy-two GPs are currently enrolled in the Focussed Psychological Strategies Skills Training – the fully online advanced mental health skills program offered by RACGP Rural. The dedication and enthusiasm of the facilitators involved greatly contributed to the success of the program.

RACGP Rural would like to thank Dr Cate Howell, Dr Libby Hindmarsh and Dr Johanna Lynch for their commitment and generosity in facilitating the case-based discussions.

If you are interested in extending your skills in mental health, please visit our website for more information.

Review of FARGP Curriculum in Adult Internal Medicine

RACGP Rural is undertaking a review of the existing FARGP Advanced Rural Skills Training 'Curriculum 'Adult Internal Medicine'. We are particularly keen for comments about learning outcomes, duration, setting, supervision and assessment.

If you should have any feedback regarding this curriculum and any improvements that can be made, please email 

All feedback received will be treated anonymously.


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payGP can be accessed from the right-hand column on the myRACGP webpage


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View all RACGP adverts on recruitGP website.

6th Rural and Remote Health Scientific Symposium

The National Rural Health Alliance will be organising the 'Outback Infront: 20 years of rural and remote health research' symposium in Canberra on Wednesday and Thursday 11—12 April 2018.

The symposium will focus on rural and remote health research that informs strategic health policy and health service challenges in rural and remote Australia.

For further details, please visit the program website.

Changes to Medicare Benefit Schedule obstetrics services

Changes to the Medicare Benefit System (MBS) obstetrics services came into effect on Wednesday 1 November 2017. A frequently asked questions factsheet on these changes has been published on the MBS online website.

The factsheet 'Changes to MBS Items for Obstetric Services - Frequently Asked Questions' should answer any queries you may have on the changes.

Seeking GPs for 30-minute interviews about polycystic ovary syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) affects 12–21% of reproductive-age women (Australian Family Physician, 2012). What are the challenges and uncertainties regarding the diagnosis and management of PCOS?

If you are a GP who sees women with PCOS or PCOS-like symptoms, your views may be crucial to generating valuable insights that will help improve diagnosis and management for women with PCOS.

A team of researchers and clinicians from the University of Sydney, the University of Adelaide and Bond University are conducting a study. It involves one 30-minute telephone interview to explore your views, experiences and decision making about diagnosis and management of PCOS (approved by the University of Sydney Human Research Ethics Committee no.2017/243).

You will be given a $100 voucher as recognition of your time.

If you are interested in participating or have any questions, please call the study coordinator Tessa Copp (PhD student and study coordinator) on 0478 109 584 or email

Health Workforce Scholarship Program – Applications now open

The Health Workforce Scholarship Program is an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Health (DoH) aimed at improving access to health services needed in rural areas.

Rural and remote GPs, nurses, midwives and allied health professionals working in an area classified as Modified Monash Model (MMM) 3-7 can apply for scholarships and bursaries to upskill and improve the health outcomes of their communities.

Applications will close on Wednesday 20 December 2017. For more information, please visit the DoH website.

RACGP end of year close down

The RACGP will be closed nationally over the Christmas and New Year period from 5.00 pm AEDT Friday 22 December and re-opening at 9.00 am AEDT Monday 8 January 2018.

The RACGP Rural Board and staff wish all of our members a happy and safe festive period.

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