Page 1


Going Places Prevocational doctors

guide to GP training

Want to be a GP? Five things to do right now

Go places in your general practice career Find out how much GPs earn About general practice training

You’re training on the job every day and it isn’t easy. Let our national medico-legal team advise you . Your medical indemnity partner, Avant 1800 128 268 We’re with you all the way

IMPORTANT: Professional indemnity insurance policies available from Avant Mutual Group Limited ABN 58 123 154 898 are issued by Avant Insurance Limited, ABN 82 003 707 471, AFSL 238 765. The information provided here is general advice only. You should consider the appropriateness of the advice having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs before deciding to purchase or continuing to hold a policy with us. Please read and consider the policy wording and PDS, which is available at or by contacting us on 1800 128 268.


this guide The Going Places guide is produced by General Practice Registrars Australia (GPRA).

The Going Places guide is designed to help junior and prevocational doctors make informed choices about their future career directions. It is set out in colour-coded sections for easy navigation. The publication has been produced using sustainable, environmentally-friendly printing techniques and paper. This reflects GPRA’s ethos of supporting tomorrow’s GPs and their families in their quest for sustainable careers in general practice.

Produced with funding support from


With you on Students

Junior doctors

General Practice Students Network

Going Places Network

At General Practice Registrars Australia (GPRA), we support our members throughout their general practice journey. We are with them through medical school and their hospital internship, right up until when they negotiate their first employment contract. We then provide resources to help them make the most out of their career and be resilient GPs.

your journey Registrars


General Practice Registrars Australia

R-cubed – wellbeing for doctors

Contents On the cover Going Places Network members, registrars and GPs 4 Welcome 5 A message from the Going Places Network team 6 About GPRA and the Going Places Network 8 A year in the life of the Going Places Network

24 39 48 59

Five things to do right now Go places in your general practice career How much can GPs earn? General practice training facts

4/ Money matters 48 What you can earn 50 Incentive payments

5/ Keeping your balance 54 Stress less — six tips from GPs 56 Part-time, smart time

1/ Choosing a career in 6/ About general general practice practice training

12 15 16 18 20

Why choose general practice? General practice at a glance Quick quiz Unmasking the myths Why I chose general practice

2/ The prevocational GP experience 24 26 28 30 34 36

Five things to do right now Join the Going Places Network Meet the GP Ambassadors The GP mindset in hospital Test-drive general practice with the PGPPP The PGPPP and me — Dr Kate Thornton

3/ Going Places in your career 40 The many faces of general practice 45 Travel while you train 46 Who knew?

60 66 68 71 74 78 80 82

The structure of GP training Understanding the moratorium The RACGP Fellowship The RACGP’s Fellowship in Advanced Rural General Practice (FARGP) The ACRRM Fellowship RVTS — an alternative pathway to fellowship Joining forces with the ADF Dr Scott Hahn — earning his stripes as a military registrar

7/ Regional training providers 84 Regional training providers in Australia 85 CoastCityCountry General Practice Training (CCCGPT) 88 General Practice Training Valley to Coast (GPTVTC) 91 GP Synergy (GPS) 93 North Coast GP Training (NCGPT)

96 WentWest (WW) 98 Bogong Regional Training Network 100 Beyond Medical Education (BME) 102 Victorian Metropolitan Alliance (VMA) — General Practice Training 104 Southern GP Training (SGPT) 107 Adelaide to Outback GP Training Program (AOGP) 112 Sturt Fleurieu General Practice Education and Training (SFGPET) 114 Central and Southern Queensland Training Consortium (CSQTC) 116 Queensland Rural Medical Education (QRME) 118 Tropical Medical Training (TMT) 120 Western Australian General Practice Education and Training (WAGPET) 125 General Practice Training Tasmania (GPTT) 127 Northern Territory General Practice Education (NTGPE)

8/ Applying for general practice training 130 How to apply for the AGPT program 132 Selection day — the inside story 135 How to apply for RVTS GP training

9 Info file 138 Jargon buster! 144 GP web directory

GPRA would like to acknowledge the support of our patron Professor John Murtagh and his contribution to general practice. Prof. Murtagh is Adjunct Professor of General Practice, Monash University and Professional Fellow in the Department of General Practice, University of Melbourne. He practices part-time as a GP at East Bentleigh and has teaching responsibilities at three Melbournebased universities. He is also the author of several internationally adopted text books including General Practice. Platinum sponsors: Avant Mutual Group Limited and Healthscope Medical Centres GPSN Founding sponsor: MDA National Insurance Pty Ltd Major sponsors: Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, Medical Indemnity Protection Society, North Coast GP Training, Doctors Health Fund, Aspen Australia, MIMS Australia, Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine and The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. Advertisers: The Medical Insurance Group, Central and Southern Qld Training Consortium, General Practice Training Valley To Coast, Rural Workforce Agency, Victoria and Australian Defence Force Business partner: Medical Observer. GPRA Editorial team: Managing Editor, Laura McGeoch; Editor, Jan Walker; Writer, Ruth Hyland. Graphic Design: Peter Fitzgerald. Business Development Managers: Marie Treacy, Kate Marie, Naomi Sher. Print: Graphic Impressions. ©2011 GPRA. All rights are reserved. All materials contained in this publication are protected by Australian copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior permission of General Practice Registrars Australia Ltd (GPRA) or in the case of third party material, the owner of that content. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the publication. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior permission and full acknowledgement of the source: Going Places, a publication of General Practice Registrars Australia. All efforts have been made to ensure that material presented in this publication was correct at the time of printing and published in good faith. GPRA does not accept liability for the use of information within this publication. Due to the rapidly changing nature of the industry, GPRA does not make any warranty or guarantee concerning the accuracy or reliability of this content.

Welcome Welcome to the Going Places guide. If you have ever thought about a career in general practice, this is your essential go-to handbook on how to get there. What kind of doctor do you want to be? It’s a perennial question that follows junior doctors during the hospital training years. If the diverse challenges of being a ‘general specialist’ appeal, this how-to guide to general practice training is essential reading. Maybe you’ve considered doing a Prevocational General Practice Placements Program (PGPPP) term during your training years in hospital to see whether the life of a GP is for you. Or perhaps you’ve made up your mind that you’re ready to embark on GP training. Wherever you find yourself in your career, keep this guide handy to answer any questions you might have. In this guide you will find the nitty-gritty on how the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program works plus personal insights on GP life from junior doctors, GP registrars and GPs.

There are articles on the fellowships offered by both the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM). There are also profiles of all 17 regional training providers (RTPs) which deliver the curriculum of the colleges in local regions. Each RTP offers something slightly different in training experiences through their accredited practices and educational opportunities, so it is worth spending a little time researching which would best suit you before applying. General practice training comes in many forms — from the military to the most isolated health posts in the Australian outback or doing a term overseas. The Going Places guide has it covered. How much can you expect to earn? The financial facts are in the guide. Plus there are inspiring glimpses into the lives and motivations of GP registrars and GPs, general practice myths are exploded, and there are tips on looking after yourself while you train. Then, when you are ready to go places in general practice, turn to the back of the guide for details of how to apply to GP training. Dr Nici Williams GP Ambassador and Medical Editor Going Places guide 2012


Visit our website ­—

A message

from the Going Places Network team So, you’ve just started, or are part-way through, your hospital internship and can now officially add a ‘Dr’ prefix to your name. Well done! You are no doubt in for an exciting — albeit hectic — ride.

through free networking events and excellent resources and training information. We have 48 ‘GP Ambassadors’ in 44 teaching hospitals across Australia. From Melbourne to Darwin, Perth to the Gold Coast and everything in between — we’ve got it covered. Our GP Ambassadors can answer your questions. We can put you in touch with experienced GPs or registrars. We get some great GPs speaking at our events, which are an excellent way to relax over a meal and a drink and meet more of your mentors and peers who are also interested in general practice.

While working in the hospital environment you’ll be exposed to many different specialties. You may have a clear idea about what specialty you want to do, and remain focused on that. But if you’re after a really well-rounded medical career then you should consider the specialty of general practice. General practice is unique, simply because if offers so much! You can hone your early intervention and diagnostic skills, perform minor surgeries, travel across Australia and overseas, connect with and make a lasting positive impact on communities and people…and much more! Did we mention a very competitive salary and excellent work-life balance? The Going Places Network is a community of junior doctors in hospitals across Australia. It provides a single source of access, information and career advice about general practice for junior doctors. We have 1,200 members (free membership!) and counting. We connect with junior doctors

The Going Places Network is administered by General Practice Registrars Australia (GPRA), Australia’s peak representative body for GP registrars. GPRA supports GPs on their entire journey. It also administers the General Practice Students Network (GPSN) which supports medical students interested in general practice. If you think general practice could be for you, get in touch! Check out our website ( and join online for free. There may be a GP Ambassador in your hospital who you can chat to. If not, we have regional coordinators throughout Australia who you can contact. Drop us a line at Good luck! The Going Places Network team Going Places guide 2012

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice



GPRA and the Going Places Network Here’s a brief rundown on who we are and what we do. What is the Going Places Network? The Going Places Network for junior doctors is all about bringing the general practice experience to your hospital or a hospital near you. It is administered by General Practice Registrars Australia. Because most general practice training takes place outside the hospital, you may notice that once you enter the hospital system attention can be skewed away from primary care and onto the acute care specialties. The Going Places Network seeks to redress the balance. The network is a fun way for you to explore the world of general practice through your local Going Places Ambassador, networking and educational events, publications and online resources.

What is GPRA? GPRA stands for General Practice Registrars Australia. We are the peak national representative body for general practice registrars in Australia. One of our most important functions is to provide resources to support GP registrars during their training and represent their interests. In addition, we promote general practice as a medical specialty of choice to:

• Medical students through the General

• Junior doctors in the hospital environment

Membership of the Going Places Network doesn’t imply any formal commitment to general practice — but the insight, knowledge and experience you gain from being involved will be helpful whatever path you ultimately choose to follow.

Going Places Network — FREE membership! 6

Visit our website ­—

Practice Students Network (GPSN). GPSN has student-run clubs promoting general practice in all 20 Australian medical schools. Visit through the Going Places Network. Visit

1,200 Going Places Network members 48 GP Ambassadors based in 44 teaching hospitals 80+ promotional events held in the last year

22 Going Places events 8,000 circulation of Going Places


250 junior doctors who attended

Going Places Network events during 2011 The Going Places Network is GPRA’s initiative for junior doctors who are working in hospitals. To join the Going Places Network visit

Attention Young Doctors

Looking to tAke thAt next vitAL step in Your cAreer? At healthscope, our Medical centres are focused on the career development and education of our practitioners. We offer young doctors the opportunity to work in modern facilities with access to high quality equipment and resources across various locations in Australia. We also provide ongoing national training and education opportunities, with a major focus on Chronic Disease Management in primary care, and encourage young doctors to pursue areas of special interest to foster their growth. With flexible hours and employment packages on offer, our centres provide a supportive administrative environment for young doctors looking to enhance their professional development.

Healthscope AD

More information To learn more about the benefits of joining a Healthscope Medical Centre please contact Lachlan McBride on 0417 574 401 or

A year

in the life of the Going Places Network

We were out and about during 2011 — meeting with our members, and hosting our own events. Take a look at what the Going Places Network got up to in 2011.

Practice skills workshop and dinner Adelaide, SA South Australian members updated their joint injection and otoscope skills while sampling some of the best pizza in Adelaide.

Australian Defence Force (ADF) and Going Places Network event Logan Hospital, Brisbane More than 200 junior doctors and medical students visited the fully-staffed Logan ADF Regimental Aid Post. 8

Visit our website ­—

Melbourne Networking dinner Melbourne CBD Sixty Going Places members, including GP Ambassadors, shared a fabulous three-course meal in one of Melbourne’s iconic laneway restaurants.

Spring in the Hills winery tour Sunshine Coast, Qld Queensland members enjoyed a bus tour of wineries in the hills of the glorious Sunshine Coast.

GP By the Sea Wollongong, NSW Wollongong members enjoyed a delicious meal, a drink and magnificent views with like-minded colleagues interested in general practice.

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


MDA National is the Perfect Fit on Member Services and Benefits.

MDA National AD

We know that you value education, resources, medico-legal advice and support. At MDA National we offer an increasing number of programs specifically for Doctors in Training such as Partnering your Professionalism, access to face-to-face forums, workshops and medico-legal education.

We Listen to Our Members.

Call us today on 1800 011 255

Our Claims and Advisory Services team have sound legal knowledge and are experts in their field. They are available every hour of every day to support you with advice that is timely, accurate and consistent.

With MDA National you’ll find the perfect fit.

Insurance products are underwritten by MDA National Insurance Pty Ltd (MDA National Insurance) ABN 56 058 271 417 AFS Licence No. 238073, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Medical Defence Association of Western Australia (Incorporated) ARBN 055 801 771, trading as MDA National. The liability of Members is limited. With limited exceptions they are available only to MDA National Members. Before making a decision to buy or hold any products issued by MDA National Insurance, please consider your own circumstances, read the Product Disclosure Statement and Policy wording available at DIT112


Choosing a career in general practice


choose general practice?

If you are looking for a specialty that has it all, from intellectual rigour to work-life balance, general practice may be for you. There is one question that everyone asks you during your hospital training years — and you are no doubt asking yourself the question and searching for answers to it. What kind of doctor do you want to be? When you are surrounded by the ‘hospital specialties’, there is one outstanding career choice that may be overlooked.

No other career in medicine offers you more flexibility, opportunity and diversity than life as a GP.

That specialty is general practice. No other career in medicine offers you more flexibility, opportunity and diversity than life as a GP. General practice is all about intellectually challenging work at the forefront of primary care. Combine that with the work-life balance that many busy junior doctors crave, and general practice starts to look even more attractive. Australia’s GPs work in all parts of Australia, from large cities and rural towns to remote settlements. The doctor-patient relationship and continuity of care are at the heart of clinical general practice. You are responsible for the frontline diagnosis, prevention, acute and ongoing management of all kinds of health conditions. General practice is a career of options. You can practise a wide range of skills including procedural and hospital care in the city, a rural setting or overseas. You can teach, research or write. You can work part-time or have a portfolio of roles. In short, you can have a career that truly reflects your values, interests, aspirations and lifestyle. So if you are pondering the big ‘which specialty?’ question, being a GP may be the answer you are looking for. Check out page 14 for 10 great reasons to be a GP.


Visit our website ­—

1 Choosing a career in general practice

Registrar rave Dr Anne Kleinitz

The cornerstone of health care General practice is the provision of patient-centred, continuing, comprehensive, co-ordinated primary care to individuals, families and communities. It is the cornerstone of the Australian health care system.

My training provider is Northern Territory General Practice Education (NTGPE). My current post is GPT3 and an academic post. This involves teaching medical students from Flinders University in Darwin. A typical workday for me is half a day of general practice, half a day of teaching. What I love about general practice is the way you can be creative and make it into a nice mixture of all the things you enjoy. A patient who inspired me was every mother who lost a child in Africa — devastated by their loss but gracious and accepting. After hours I like to sing, swing dance and walk on Darwin’s beaches — but not usually all three at once. A quirky fact about me is that I can still do flips — a remnant from when I did gymnastics.

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


P e GP be a G o with th . t s t r s a t n s g em reaso Everythin are syst 10 greedaotctor people s—eetfihershtu—b of thcee hineatlthhe fcamily and

1. Be th eral specialist’ s a special pla n ld ulation? or ‘ge ily doctor ho ual stim he am t f c e e ll h e T t y. all t or in ommunit ooking f Want to use the c day — L ? le bit? t y ls t r il li k ve s e a d t gnostic allenge ot jus 2. Be ch o test your dia med school n kes it a t at ma Want dge you learnt ractice eneral p you knowle ad scope of g t — and ro differen following The b nt challenge. is y a d y a Ever s and const session bored — ever get rking different n l il w by wo 3. You so many offers ix it up s. y m lt e n ia k a a c c e t r sp can m l interes No othe ecialties. You specia p areer — in rural s c y n b ll u w ia s o c e d r p n u s a o e y s , t e n s practic 4. Desig special intere of your e divers ral work part g du h ongoin t proce ote settings. Establis eople, not jus e. — le p o m p e e ic p s t a c h a it r ls a p w and r individu general nships ilies and p relatio heart of s 5. Develo ships with fam care is at the tionship n f giate rela e ll o c relatio . Continuity o g ewardin ssionals. ts evelop r e patien e in a eam ­­— D ied health prof t a f , you ar tion. o P t ll G r a a a p d n s e 6. B — A Ps a erven other G early int t illness with d preven screening and n a with e c n e u work through a differ ours yo h 7. Make n to save lives e h t e hoos ts. positio nce — C l interes r you life bala ds and persona k r o Whethe w ravel — aining or take 8. Enjoy r family, frien t r o f f o ur tr ime of time f with yo r take t d work -time o tarting a family GP training an t r a p in f s o e y in 9. Tra it b to com vel, the flexibil ing want a hile train k for tr le. a e r come w b in y n d a o a ib m o s g s f o it p urs o earn a er makes reme ho ou will ney — Y ithout the ext hers or consid o m d o o t g w o n r P r o a G f .E k 10 s a can wor orking a and w pecialties. You tice. s c a r wn pr othe g your o startin


Visit our website ­—

1 Choosing a career in general practice

at a glance General practice salaries Full-time GP registrars average $70,000 to $150,000 a year. Full-time GPs can average up to $180,000 or more a year depending on the nature of the practice and hours worked. General practice also offers opportunities for part-time work and training. There are extra incentives for rural and remote work. For more information about income, see pages 48–49.

General practice training The Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program is the vocational training program for GP registrars. It ranges from three years (basic Royal Australian College of General Practitioners curriculum) to four years (Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine curriculum). The program is managed and funded through General Practice Education and Training (GPET) and is delivered by regional training providers (RTPs). Some recognition of prior learning (RPL) for hospital training may reduce training time. For full details of the training structure, see pages 60–65.

colleges and the peak body for registrars, General Practice Registrars Australia (GPRA). For more information about the RTPs, see pages 84–128. For more information about the colleges, see pages 68–77.

How and when to apply The earliest time you can apply to the AGPT program is during your intern year, which means you enter the program as a second-year postgraduate, or you can apply any time after. For more information, see pages 130–131 or visit

More information Going Places Network — AGPT — GPRA — RACGP — ACCRM —

General practice registrar support General practice registrars are well supported by their regional training providers (RTPs),

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


?Quick ? ?

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? quiz

Is general practice the career for you? Take this quick quiz to discover whether you and general practice were made for each other. 1. Would you prefer:

4. Would you prefer:

A. Dealing with patients with various health problems?

A. Working in the community?

B. Dealing with patients with one particular type of health problem?

B. Working in the hospital system? 5. Would you prefer:

2. Would you prefer:

A. Being able to train and work part-time?

A. Seeing the same patients and their families over an extended period of time?

B. Having less flexibility to train and work part-time?

B. Seeing a bigger proportion of new patients? 3. Would you prefer:

A. Regular hours with limited weekend work?

B. Variable rosters, shiftwork and on-call work?


Visit our website ­—

If you answered mostly ‘As’ then a career in general practice could be a good match for you. But remember, a great way to find out what general practice is really like is to give yourself some real-life exposure through the Prevocational General Practice Placements Program (PGPPP). See pages 34-37

Automatic cover for the treatment of public patients …you’re covered with MIGA

Sleeping easy is knowing you have the right cover in place. Medical indemnity policies for doctors aren’t the same and your current policy may not offer the cover you need. If you’re embarking on a GP placement call us today on 1800 777 156 or insure online at

Call us on 1800 777 156

Always on your side

Insurance policies available through MIGA are issued by Medical Insurance Australia Pty Ltd (AFSL 255906). MIGA has not taken into account your personal objectives or situation. Before you make any decisions about our policy, please read our Product Disclosure Statement and consider your own needs. Call MIGA for a copy or visit our website. © MIGA November 2011

Unmasking the myths

General practice attracts many misconceptions. Take a look at the real face of general practice. Myth 1 General practice is about coughs, colds, paperwork and aged care. Reality General practice is about the full scope of medicine.

• Yes, coughs, colds, paperwork and elderly

Myth 2 GPs don’t practise complex and challenging medicine. Reality GPs practise complex, challenging medicine every day.

• GPs are on the frontline of medicine as

leaders of the multidisciplinary and inter-specialty medical team. They see the first presentation of health and psychological burdens and are responsible for making decisions that will impact the patient’s health outcome.

• As a GP, you never know what will come in the door.

patients are part of general practice. However, each day is diverse involving all kinds of people and conditions.

• Many rare and unusual presentations will be

• Families and children are a big part of a

• Due to their broad skills, GPs are equipped

typical family practice.

• There are numerous minor surgical

opportunities. These may include the removal of moles or cysts and applying stitches.

• You can sub-specialise or take on a

portfolio of roles at different locations.

• Diagnosis is at the core of general practice.


Visit our website ­—

first seen by the GP.

to work overseas or in disadvantaged communities.

Many consider a lifestyle of flexible, sociable working hours and part-time options better than money in the bank.

1 Choosing a career in general practice

Myth 3 GPs don’t earn much money.

many consider a lifestyle of flexible, sociable working hours and part-time options better than money in the bank.


• For more information on general practice

GPs earn good money.

incomes, see pages 48–49.

• The average annual income for a full-time

Myth 4 General practice is not a medical specialty.

Australian GP is up to $180,000 or more.

• GPs earn a higher average income than

most non-medical professionals including lawyers, veterinarians, architects, engineers and accountants.

• Compared to family practitioners else

Reality General practice is officially a specialty and GPs are ‘general specialists’.

where in the world, Australian GPs are among the highest income earners, above countries like France, Germany and Canada.

• General practice was recognised as a

• It is true that GPs on average earn less

• To be accredited as a general practitioner

than most other medical specialists. But

GPs are on the frontline of medicine as leaders of the multidiciplinary and inter-specialty medical team.

medical specialty in 2010 by the Medical Board of Australia.

in Australia requires an additional three to four years of training through the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program as a GP registrar, with the endpoint being fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) or the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), or both. For more information, see pages 68–77.

Contributed by Kristen Tee and Jan Walker

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice



I chose general practice

How did you make the South Australian GP registrar Dr Nyoli Valentine change to general practice? answers some essential I took a year off and did a locum year and tried lots of different things. Then I decided to give questions about starting general practice a go. Within a short time I had her specialist training in worked out that I really loved it and this was another discipline and what I wanted to do. making the switch to What do you enjoy about general practice. Tell us about yourself... I am a GP registrar with Sturt Fleurieu in South Australia. I previously worked as the registrar liaison officer for Sturt Fleurieu and I am now a registrar medical educator. I am also in my elective year of GP training.

Did you originally choose general practice as a career pathway? It took me a little while to find out what I wanted to do with myself. When I did my internship I very much liked the medical side of things rather than the surgical side. I started physician training, which I did enjoy. However, I didn’t enjoy the lack of follow-up of patients and not being able to see what happened to them afterwards.


Visit our website ­—

general practice?

I love seeing the patients and following them through. I love looking at the holistic care rather than just focusing on one part. You feel like you can actually make a difference to your patients’ long-term outcome rather than just a short-term fix. To be able to look at someone’s mental health and physical health and social situation; I really enjoy that about general practice. The longer you do it, the more you carve out your niche.

“It’s difficult finding what suits you, but what is great about general practice is that you can get it to suit you.”

1 Choosing a career in general practice

Registrar rave

Nyoli’s advice on choosing a specialty

• Expect to feel confused — I remember

being in that very confused state. It’s difficult finding what suits you, but what is great about general practice is that you can get it to suit you.

• Find your passion — We are not the • Get exposure to general practice —

It’s hard to rule a specialty out or in if you haven’t been exposed to it other than at med school level. Doing a rotation with the PGPPP is a really good way to get some community experience as a doctor in general practice and build up your clinical confidence with patients. See pages 34-37 for PGPPP information.

• Join the Going Places Network —

I would also urge you to join the Going Places Network at your hospital. The events are fun and very social, but educational. You’ll meet lots of new people and find out about general practice while you consider your options. Join today at Dr Nyoli Valen


My training provider is Bogong Regional Training Network. My current post is at Mount Beauty and Falls Creek Medical Centres in Victoria’s high country.

same; we are all unique.

Dr Dominic Blanks

A typical workday for me involves a morning mountain bike ride in summer and autumn, and a ski in winter and spring. This is followed by ward rounds at a small acutebed GP hospital, then clinic for the rest of the day. My favourite technical gizmo is the ski-doo. Who else can jump on a ski-doo to pick up the mail, do the odd home visit and mountain resuscitation? When I feel like quitting I remind myself how happy I am when compared to living in Melbourne. After hours I like to play with the kids, ride a bike and enjoy paradise. A quirky fact about me is that for an alpine doctor I am the world’s ugliest skier.

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice




SIGN UP NOW for the latest clinical and professional news Visit

MONDAY The latest news, with news focus

THURSDAY The latest news, with gp life

• Most read news • Essential info from TGA, MBS and Medical Board / court reports • Blogs and news features

• One-click list of all competitions • Dr Gadget – new online-only tech column • Millard cartoons and more GP humour

TUESDAY The latest news, with clinical review • Focus on clinical conditions – coverage of crucial clinical issues, in one location • Mastering the MBS – synopses of MBS items, simplified by GP editors • The clinical info read by your colleagues

FRIDAY The latest news, with gp community • The best of your online comments • GP blogs • Ask An Expert your financial or legal questions

FREE SIGN-UP FOR MO E-NEWSLETTERS Register for e-newsletters. Sign up at Already a member? Opt in for e-newsletters at




prevocational GP experience


things to do right now

2 Find out who the Going Curious about general Places GP Ambassador at practice as a career? your hospital is Or perhaps you have local GP Ambassador can give you already decided that being Your valuable information and advice about general a ‘general specialist’ is your practice careers and help you navigate through calling. As a junior doctor the GP landscape. To find out who your local GP Ambassador is, visit or in the hospital system, there are five simple things look for posters around your hospital. you can do right now to get the show on the road. 1 Choose the right hospital and rotations Select a hospital that offers more specialties than sub-specialty rotations. Hospital experience in general medicine, general surgery, emergency medicine and paediatrics is mandatory in general practice training. Anaesthetics as well as obstetrics and gynaecology are also required by the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM). By doing these before enrolling in the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program, you may be eligible for recognition of prior learning (RPL) and be able to fast-track your GP training. Rotations in psychiatry, orthopaedics, geriatrics, dermatology and ear, nose and throat are also very useful. (For more information, see pages 60–65.)


Lang Yii had an “awesome” time in Darwin during her PGPPP.


Visit our website ­—

2 The prevocational GP experience

Registrar rave 3 Join the Going Places Network

Dr Nick Harrington

Be part of the Going Places Network at your hospital. It’s a fun way to find out about careers in general practice and network with others who share your interest while developing your professional knowledge and credentials. Remember, membership of the Going Places Network does not imply any formal commitment to general practice, and the experience will be helpful whatever vocational path you ultimately follow. (For more information, see pages 26–27.) Join online at

My training provider is Western Australian General Practice Education and Training (WAGPET).

4 Apply for the PGPPP Get a taste of general practice as a junior doctor by doing a stint in the Prevocational General Practice Placements Program, known as the PGPPP. Even if you have not yet decided what your specialty will be, it’s a great way to gain exposure to general practice so you can make an informed decision. (For more information, see pages 34–37.)

5 Apply for general practice training You can apply during your internship year to enter the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program as a second-year postgraduate, or apply during any following year of your hospital training. Online application forms are available at (For more information, see pages 130–131.)

My current post is Meekatharra Base Hospital with the Royal Flying Doctor Service north-west of Perth. A typical workday for me involves ward rounds in the morning including discharges and acute admissions. I do a morning outpatient session, then lunch, acute presentations and ED paperwork followed by an afternoon outpatient session, more acute presentations and ED, with on-call every second night. My GP role model is Dr Bruce Chater of Theodore in Queensland because he is an absolute master of all trades in rural general practice. He showed grace under fire during the Queensland floods and inspired me to have a go at rural medicine. A quirky fact about me is that I used to be an infantry soldier in the Army.

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


Join now! Join the Going Places Network

The Going Places Network is a friendly and supportive local community of junior doctors with a focus on general practice, based at your hospital or a hospital near you.

Free membership

Visit our website ­—

By joining the network you will get access to general practice-focused networking and educational events, publications, online resources and more. Keep an eye out for your local Going Places GP Ambassador. A team of hospital-based GP Ambassadors is a key feature of the Going Places Network.

Ever noticed how once you start your hospital training, general practice tends to fall off the radar? Working in specialties within the hospital environment doesn’t give you much exposure to general practice.


The Going Places Network is a junior doctor community that allows you to explore the world of general practice while you complete your hospital training.

GP Ambassadors are junior doctors with a passion for general practice. They are involved in organising events and you can approach your GP Ambassador directly for advice and information about general practice.

Junior doctors socialise at a Going Places Network event in Wollongong.

2 The prevocational GP experience

Member benefits

• Events — General practice-focused

Look for posters at your hospital telling you who your GP Ambassador is, or visit for a list, contact details and ambassador profiles.

networking and educational events.

• Education — An opportunity to learn more about general practice.

• Mentoring — Access to a local GP

Who can join?

Any junior doctor currently working in the hospital system. Does it cost anything to join?

Ambassador to answer your general practice questions. GP Ambassadors are junior doctors in hospitals who are passionate and knowledgable about general practice

• Peer networking — Membership of a

No, it’s absolutely FREE, so join today!

friendly and supportive local community of junior doctors who share your interests.

How to join Fill in our short online membership form at

• Fun social activities — Being part of the

By joining the network, you will get access to general practice-focused networking and educational events, publications, online resources and more.

Going Places Network gives you the chance to have loads of fun while you develop your professional skills and career.

• Online updates — Regular e-newsletter updates with information on local events.

• Publications — The Going Places

magazine with real-life stories of the people, variety and challenges of general practice, and GP Companion, a handy clinical pocket reference for PGPPP rotations.

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice



the GP Ambassadors

There are GP Ambassadors at hospitals throughout Australia who are the human face of the Going Places Network. They are junior doctors who are passionate and knowledgeable about general practice, and will answer any questions you may have. Here’s two of our team.

The network offers an opportunity for doctors who are unsure of their career or who are making the first steps to enter the general practice family to network with doctors and professional bodies involved in training.”

Dr Joshua Crase Ballarat Base Hospital Contact Joshua at “I’m very passionate about general practice and rural-remote medicine. I think it is a privilege to be able to treat a whole family from birth through to old age. I hope I can be a port of call for anyone interested in considering general practice as a career in medicine. I have not met a grumpy GP yet (there are plenty of grumpy specialists!) and I hope that I can show junior doctors that general practice is a great career for lifestyle, intellectual and personal fulfilment reasons.


Visit our website ­—

“I hope I can be a port of call for anyone interested in considering general practice as a career in medicine.”

2 The prevocational GP experience

Dr Anita Dey Canberra Hospital Contact Anita at “I always loved learning about the human body. Medicine seemed an ideal way to keep learning and help people at the same time. I had a fantastic medical student rotation in a local general practice and loved it so much that I did a rotation as an intern too. I decided to be a GP Ambassador because I have wanted to be a GP since starting medical school and I thought I could help other junior doctors who haven’t quite decided what to do in the long term.

Photo of Anita

So why should junior doctors join the Going Places Network? You can keep up to date with the latest information about applying to the general practice training program — and get some awesome free stuff!”

“I have wanted to be a GP since starting medical school and I thought I could help other junior doctors who haven’t quite decided what to do in the long term.” Who’s your local GP Ambassador? For the name and contact details of your local GP Ambassador, visit or look for posters around your hospital.

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


GP mindset in hospital


Choose your terms There are ways to keep focused on general practice Choose terms that will give you experience common GP-managed conditions. during your hospital terms. with Mandatory and other useful rotations are listed As a junior doctor in hospital, it’s easy to be occupied with the usual duties of caring for too many patients and constantly being paged. Often, little time is left to think about how your hospital experience can help you as a GP in the future. Here are a few points that will help you make the most of your hospital experience.

Learn procedural skills that may be useful in general practice: joint aspirations and injections, excision of cysts and skin lesions.


Visit our website ­—

on page 32. General terms, such as general medicine and general surgery, may be more relevant than super-specialised placements. Accident and emergency terms are always a great opportunity to experience a wide range of presentations and to learn acute care skills, timely management and referral. Any experience with skin, ears and eyes will stand you in good stead. During the prevocational years, doing a Prevocational General Practice Placements Program (PGPPP) term is a great asset.

GP registrar Anne Kleinitz

2 The prevocational GP experience

Fine-tune your practical skills

Practise your writing

Ask nurses to teach you skills, such as giving vaccinations (especially to children) and dressing wounds. Ensure you can place common types of plaster casts with confidence.

Take particular notice of writing comprehensive and prompt discharge summaries, and don’t be afraid to call GPs to tell them their patients are coming home.

Pick up useful procedural skills

Contributed by Dr Kate Beardmore, Dr Kate Kelso and Dr Kirsten Patterson

Learn procedural skills that may be useful in general practice: joint aspirations and injections, excision of cysts and skin lesions.

Learn the art of referrals Think about what information is pertinent on a referral letter sent with a patient to emergency. Discuss the referral process with consultants. What do they like in a referral? What tests should be ordered prior to referral? How urgently do they need to see particular cases?

Be curious about management decisions In addition to the acute management decisions you will have made in the hospital setting, as a GP you will also be initiating and monitoring long-term management of chronic conditions. Talk to your consultants and registrars about up-to-date guidelines and approaches to chronic disease management.

Find out who’s who Identify people who may be good information sources when you are working in the community; for example, hospital registrars, consultants, CNCs.

Going Places tip Join the Going Places Network at your hospital. It’s a fun way to learn more about general practice and network with peers and mentors who also have an interest in the specialty. Join today at

Do it now For more information about compulsory hospital rotations for general practice training, visit, and

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


Choose the right hospital and rotations Choose a hospital and terms that will give you experience with common GP-managed conditions. There are rotations and experiences that are considered to be mandatory preparation for the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program. There are four compulsory rotations: Medicine (preferably general medicine, but as this is not available in some hospitals, a rotation that offers broad medical experience) General surgery Accident and emergency Paediatrics

• • • •

In addition, each college requires certain other hospital terms and particular courses to be completed. Refer to the college fellowship overviews on pages 68–72 (RACGP) and pages 74–76 (ACRRM), and the college websites. If you have completed some of these as a junior doctor, you may qualify for recognition of prior learning (RPL) so you can either reduce your training time or substitute terms that develop existing or new skills. Your RTP can provide further information about how to apply for RPL, which you must apply for in the first year of training. RPL may be approved for all, or part, of the requirements of the post-intern hospital year of training in Australia.


Visit our website ­—

Dr Natalie Sancandi Seeing the hospital through the lens of general practice Dr Natalie Sancandi is a Going Places Ambassador resident at St George Hospital in Sydney. As she busies herself with her daily duties she has an eye to her future career beyond the hospital doors. During her intern year she did a term with the Prevocational General Practice Placements Program (PGPPP) and was smitten with general practice. Natalie says there are a number of ways she views her hospital work through the lens of general practice, and has tips for others. “When people come to hospital, ask yourself whether their problem could have been better managed in the community,” she advised. “Ensure you recognise the types of cases that definitely need hospital management so you know when to refer early as a future GP,” she added. “You should also expose yourself to the various community support services available to patients upon discharge.” Having done hospital terms in emergency, cardiology and paediatrics, and two terms at Albury Hospital, Natalie looks forward to applying her skills in general practice soon.

Put yourself in safe hands. MIPS benefits include MIPS Members’ Medical Indemnity Insurance Policy, MIPS Protections for non medical indemnity matters, medico-legal advice, Group Personal Accident cover, risk management education sessions, special member benefit offers, e-publications and more! Apply online at

Medical Indemnity Protection Society Ltd po box 25 carlton south vic 3053 | | member services | p. 1800 061 113 | f. 1800 061 116 | abn 64 007 067 281

Medical Indemnity Protection Society Ltd (MIPS) is an Australian Financial Services Licensee (AFS Lic. 301912). MIPS Insurance Pty Ltd (MIPS Insurance) is a wholly owned subsidiary of MIPS and holds an authority issued by APRA to conduct general insurance business and is an Australian Financial Services Licensee (AFS Lic. 247301). Any financial product advice is of a general nature and not personal or specific.

Test-drive general practice with the PGPPP

Want to put yourself in the driver’s seat beyond the hospital gates? The Prevocational General Practice Placements Program (PGPPP) is a great way to see your own patients while being mentored by inspiring GPs. What is the Prevocational General Practice Placements Program (PGPPP)? The Prevocational General Practice Placements Program (PGPPP) is a great opportunity to experience life as a GP during your hospital training years. Whether you are already set on general practice as a career, you are seeking to get a broader understanding of primary care or to improve your clinical and consultative skills, the PGPPP will enhance your medical training.


Visit our website ­—

What is the PGPPP experience like? Your placement will expose you to a real-life experience in the general practice world. You will have management of your own patients and be involved in varied areas of health care, such as aged care, sexual health, drug and alcohol, paediatrics, acute and chronic disease management, and home visits. Throughout your placement you will be well supervised by experienced practitioners who also teach GP registrars. Your supervisor will help you gain independence and a sense of autonomy in your clinical management of cases and develop your communication skills and medical professionalism.

How does it work? When you participate in the program you rotate out of your hospital into a general practice training post for a minimum of one and a maximum of two hospital terms. At the end of your term in general practice you simply rotate back to your hospital. While undertaking the PGPPP you remain employed by your tertiary hospital and continue to be paid by the hospital and accrue leave entitlements. Your medical indemnity also continues to be met by your hospital.

2 The prevocational GP experience

What will you gain on the PGPPP?

Who is eligible? Prevocational doctors, interns and international medical graduates employed by State Government hospitals are all eligible. If you are an overseas-trained doctor (OTD) or former overseas medical student, you are eligible provided you are unconditionally registered.

Will I be paid while on the PGPPP? Yes, you will continue to be paid while you are on your PGPPP rotation.

Your supervisor will help you gain independence and a sense of autonomy in your clinical management of cases.

• A real-life experience in general practice over and above that of undergraduate training.

• An opportunity to work in urban, regional and remote areas.

• Direct patient contact in primary care

settings, such as private general practice, Aboriginal Medical Services, drug and alcohol clinics and community-based facilities.

• A greater understanding of how primary and secondary health care settings work together.

• Confidence and independence to

take into future training and work environments.

• Personal mentoring by respected GPs. • Great networking opportunities.

Find out more Ask the junior medical officer (JMO) manager at your hospital about the PGPPP. To view a range of personal stories from junior doctors who have done the PGPPP, visit Information is also available at

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


The pgppp and me Dr Kate Thornton answers our questions and shares her PGPPP experience. Where did you do your PGPPP? I worked at the Interchange General Practice in Canberra. The practice is right in the centre of Canberra and has an emphasis on treating patients from disadvantaged backgrounds.

How did your GP placement compare with hospital work? Initially I was a little unsure of what to expect during my term in general practice. I had done several terms in general practice as a student, which I had found

The term is designed to give prevocational doctors an idea of what general practice is like. 36

Visit our website ­—

were extremely variable depending on my supervisors. In addition, I had done three terms as a hospital intern where I felt my main role was clearly defined. I was to do all the small jobs that enabled the team to function effectively. In general practice I would be seeing my own patients and I was uncertain exactly what my role would be.

What kind of work did you do and how were you supervised?

I saw my own patients but I was closely supervised. Every patient had to be seen by a GP as well. Generally, the junior doctor works up the patient, formulates a management plan then calls in the supervisor. The term is designed to give prevocational doctors an idea of what general practice is like.

Who should do a PGPPP term? Definitely junior doctors who are interested in general practice as a career, but I believe every prevocational doctor should seriously consider it. The experience gives all doctors a real insight into what happens after a patient is discharged into the community from the hospital. Discharge summaries have taken on a whole

2 The prevocational GP experience

new meaning for me now, having been on the receiving end of both good and bad ones.

What kind of patients did you see? I saw an amazing range of patients. Within one hour, I saw a 91-year-old woman in excellent health and a 30-year-old IV drug user with a whole suite of medical issues.

“I feel that my ability to work up an undifferentiated patient has improved significantly.”

Any other memorable cases? Another case was that of a 21-year-old refugee who I first saw when she presented 19 weeks pregnant. She initially found it difficult to speak due to her labile emotional state. The story eventually came out that she was homeless and trying to care for herself, her five-year-old son and the unborn baby under these difficult circumstances. The management plan that my supervisor and I devised had to address both regular antenatal care issues and the patient’s social issues.

What have you gained from the experience?

What clinical cases were particularly memorable? The last patient I saw one Friday afternoon was a 40-year-old transgender man who presented to discuss a recent MRI result. In addition, he needed a review of his poorly controlled type 1 diabetes mellitus. In this consult, I had to consider many different management issues including a wrist injury, how best to maximise his glycaemic control and whether his testosterone treatment was adequate.

I feel extremely fortunate to have done a PGPPP term as an intern. I feel that my ability to work up an undifferentiated patient has improved significantly. In addition, I have a lot of admiration for my supervisors who manage to treat all of their patients with such respect regardless of their backgrounds. I certainly have had many rewarding and diverse experiences in my first couple of months in general practice.

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice



iPhone app Available on the

App Store or call 1800 800 629



The many of general practice GPs are going places in all Urban kinds of different career Dr Anne Khouri roles and settings. From RTP: Western Australian General Practice Education and Training the city to the outback, (WAGPET) from remote Aboriginal communities to academia, Location: Perth, WA Dr Anne Khouri, winner of the RACGP’s from the desert to the Edward Gawthorn Award, loves her job in snow — the possibilities a diverse urban practice in an inner-city are endless! Take a glimpse Perth suburb. She also works at a sexual into the working lives of a assault centre. diverse group of registrars “There is a great diversity of socio-economic and recently fellowed GPs. backgrounds in the patients. It covers the

affluent Mount Lawley crowd, lots of immigrants and ethnic groups, people from social housing, hostels and refuges, adolescents from the nearby private girls’ college and high school, and a large number of homosexual men and women. I enjoy the variety, the element of surprise, the need to think on my feet…”

Dr Anne


Visit our website ­—


3 Going Places in your career


Dr Jo-A

nne Ma

Dr Chris Buck RTP: Tropical Medical Training (TMT) Location: Atherton, QLD



Rural generalist registrar Dr Chris Buck works as a proceduralist in a group of small rural hospitals in the Atherton Tablelands and sees private patients in a community general practice. “During my postgraduate training I stumbled across the rural generalist pathway. At the same time, I discovered a passion for anaesthetics and intensive care. Ultimately a rural generalist is a highly skilled general practitioner who manages patients in locations that are lacking in specialist services. I could be delivering babies one minute and managing a roadside arrest with a paramedic team the next.”

Academic Dr Jo-Anne Manski-Nankervis RTP:Victorian Metropolitan Alliance (VMA) Location: Melbourne,VIC Dr Jo-Anne Manski-Nankervis is an academic GP registrar with a special interest in diabetes research. She is also a clinical GP registrar at a community practice.

s Buck

Dr Chri

“When I started general practice training, I was really only aware of the clinical work. I had no idea of the opportunities that would be open to me in medical education, academic work and being on boards and reference groups. My first academic post at the University of Melbourne’s Department of General Practice involved a research project on insulin initiation in general practice.”

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health Dr Stephanie Trust RTP: Western Australian General Practice Education and Training (WAGPET) Location: Kununurra, WA When GP registrar Dr Stephanie Trust first thought about being a doctor, she was 10 years old and living in a tent in Halls Creek. After years of study in Perth as a single mum, she achieved her dream. “I began working as a GP registrar with the Ord Valley Aboriginal Health Service in Kununurra and I felt that I had come full circle — back to where I started. As an Aboriginal doctor working in a community you have so much background knowledge.”

Alpine sports medicine Dr Dominic Blanks RTP: Bogong Regional Training Network Location: Mount Beauty and Falls Creek,VIC Dr Dominic Blanks is a registrar with a passion for alpine sports medicine and the invigorating outdoor lifestyle of the Australian Alps. He works at Mount Beauty and Falls Creek Medical Centres and a small GP-run hospital.


hanie Tru

Dr Step


Visit our website ­—


inic Bla

Dr Dom

“In alpine sports medicine you deal with different traumatic injuries — wrists and ankles for snowboarders, knees and shoulders for skiers. We triage the patients, take and process the X-rays, reduce their fractures and sew them up. You have to be resourceful because in an emergency it can suddenly be very remote with limited transport out.”

3 Going Places in your career

Refugee health + academic Dr Rebecca Farley RTP: Central and Southern Queensland Training Consortium (CSQTC) Location: Brisbane, QLD

Dr Sam

GP registrar Dr Rebecca Farley works in a general practice with a large refugee population as well as in a specialised refugee clinic. She has also done teaching and research in refugee health.

uel Goo


Procedural + Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Dr Samuel Goodwin RTP: Northern Territory General Practice Education (NTGPE) Location: Alice Springs, NT Based in Alice Springs, GP registrar Dr Samuel Goodwin enjoys the broad sweep of multi-skilled procedural medicine practised by general practitioners in rural and remote areas. “Many rural doctors are good at everything — delivering babies, doing anaesthetics, admitting patients into hospital, dealing with car accidents and seeing patients in their clinics as well. I did an advanced skills in anaesthetics, I’m working two days a week in hospital and I help out with the RFDS when needed to really enhance my experience.”

“I love experiencing different cultures and meeting new people, but it is more than that. I think part of it is recognising our common humanity despite our differences. This makes up most of my days and I find great joy in it. It is partly what drew me to general practice and what draws me to refugee health.”

Dr Reb

ecca Fa


Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


Special interest? Sub-specialise! General practice is the most flexible of medical careers — you can shape it to suit your own interests. At any one time there are numerous GP registrars in special skills, extended skills and elective posts pursuing their interests. The GP training program offers all GP registrars an opportunity to pursue a sub-specialty of their choice. In general practice, you can follow your passions and virtually design your own career.

These are just some of the directions you may wish to explore with your RTP. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health academic medicine and research alpine sports medicine anaesthetics Australian Defence Force aviation medicine cosmetic medicine dermatology drug and alcohol emergency expedition medicine family planning and sexual health forensic medicine geriatrics HIV medicine men’s health mental health musculoskeletal medicine obstetrics occupational medicine paediatrics palliative care refugee health Royal Flying Doctor Service rural and remote medicine sports medicine surgery travel medicine tropical medicine women’s health...

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

…plus many more! Dr Mike Cross-Pitcher , GP Ambassador at Nambour Hospital, undertakes a short course in expedition medicine.


Visit our website ­—

Travel while you train

3 Going Places in your career

Dr Stratos Roussos Strap on your backpack Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), and make the world your Southern Sudan consulting room while “As part of my training, I spent eight months you train. It’s all possible in in Southern Sudan with MSF. The assignment included maternal and child health and the general practice. If you enjoy travelling and are keen to gain clinical experience in another country, both RACGP and ACRRM offer exciting opportunities to complete part of your general practice training overseas. Typically these are a six-month full-time position, although in some cases part-time may be possible. The overseas training terms are appropriate for registrars who have already undertaken some training. Overseas terms can involve many locations, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, USA, New Zealand, China, Malaysia and the Middle East (Australian Defence Force posts). Overseas terms are a fantastic opportunity to broaden your horizons while completing your general practice training. However, you should be aware that it takes a lot of forward planning to organise an appropriate post and ensure it meets college requirements. You are therefore advised to talk to your RTP early if you are considering a training experience overseas.

emergency co-ordination of the cholera epidemic. The medicine was pretty mind-blowing.”

Dr Kelly Seach Irish exchange program “I worked in general practice in the town of Ballybofey in County Donegal, Ireland. I learned how to pronounce Irish names, appreciate potatoes five ways Dr Kelly and work in a different health Seach system. In all, I loved my Irish exchange.”

Fact file For further information regarding overseas training posts, visit the college websites or Your RTP will be able to give you information about ‘travel while you train’ opportunities they may be able to offer you.

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


Who knew? lia 00 Austra 0 , 2 2 in 100 million GPs consultations between Australians 2,700 and their GPs GP r egist each year ra on th e AG rs y, progr PT hwa t a p am ral hway t gene 55% rural pa ural r % o 45 ratio ral t gene gistrar re GP 9 0 co % o n 0* at su f A $180,00 lea lt us average st th tra annual f GPs on eir lian o s ce GP s e m inco a full ek a s g in k r ye wo we d r a d n ar a time st 124* average numb er of patients a G P sees each week

*From Australian Bureau of Statistics 2009-10 Health Care Services survey


Visit our website ­—


Money matters

What you can earn

What do GP registrars and GPs earn? What are the hours? Here are some financial facts and figures. The earning power of GP registrars and GPs is excellent when you consider the flexibility and work-life balance of the profession.

GP registrar salaries Full-time GP registrars work a minimum of 38 hours a week. This includes education time and administration time. The actual hours of consulting (seeing patients) are usually between 27 and 33 hours a week. This can vary, especially in rural areas. Registrars can choose a set salary model or negotiate a percentage of income generated by the patients they see in the practice. In this case, remuneration is determined by how many patients are seen and whether there is bulk-billing or private billing.

Minimum terms and conditions During the first two GP terms (or ACRRM equivalent), GP registrars are guaranteed minimum terms and conditions of employment according to the National Minimum Terms and Conditions (NMTC) document agreed by GPRA and the National General Practice Supervisors’ Association (NGPSA). Minimum salary rates are set out in the table, or 48

Visit our website ­—

alternatively the registrar is paid a minimum of 45% of gross billings, whichever is greater. 2012 training year minimum salaries plus 9% superannuation

Annual salary Wkly salary GP term 1 registrar $71,400


GP term 2 registrar $85,845


Different remuneration systems On-call and hospital VMO work earn GP registrars a minimum of 55% of the hospital billings. Although rare, some registrars work in salaried practice, especially ADF registrars, those in Aboriginal Medical Services and some rural and remote hospitals that also provide GP services to the community. It is important to note that working in rural areas, doing procedural work and working as a hospital VMO tend to attract significantly higher incomes. However, even in urban areas GP registrars often earn more than what is stipulated in the NMTC document. For GP registrars and GPs practising in rural areas and identified areas of need, incentive payments are available on top of a regular salary. (For more information, see pages 50–51.)

4 Money matters

What established GPs earn

Calculate your income online

Established GPs can earn good money, with the actual amount dependent on the nature of the practice and hours worked. In addition, there is the opportunity to run your own medical practice if you choose. All this with flexible hours and choice of practice style!

Our online GP Earnings Calculator allows you to estimate your individual earning potential based on the kind of GP you want to be.

Contributed by Dr Siew-Lee Thoo, Dr Naomi Harris and Dr Jason Ong

Training Stage Location Practice style On-call Average Weekly* % of billings patient ($) paid consultations (hours/week)

Annual* ($)

GP term 1 Any 45% N/A (or equivalent)

4 patients per $2,307 ­ 28 hrs hour — per week


GP term 2 Remote Salaried (or equivalent) hospital-based medical officer procedural work (anesthetics)

1 in 2- 3 days

60 hrs



GP term 3 Rural 50% mix (or equivalent) billing, hospital admitting rights, procedural work (anasthestics)

1 in 6




Locum Rural 60% mix (immediately billing, hospital after admitting completing rights training)








Established Urban 65% private N/A (busy practice) billing, hospital admitting rights

* Salary includes billings paid and has been calculated using the Earning Calculator. It is intended as an estimate only. Refer to the NMTC at

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


Incentive payments In addition to your salary, you may be able to claim other financial incentive payments as a GP registrar. If you are working as a GP registrar, you may be eligible to receive a range of financial incentives and reimbursements on top of your regular salary. Most of these are offered by the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA) to encourage more GPs to practise where they are most needed, such as in rural, remote and outer metropolitan areas.

Accommodation Each RTP has an individual policy regarding accommodation and relocation subsidies for GP registrars. This may include subsidised rental accommodation in rural areas.

General Practice Rural Incentives Program (GPRIP) The General Practice Rural Incentives Program (GPRIP) is a DoHA scheme that applies to registrars and general practitioners (both locally and overseas-trained) working in rural and remote areas. Payments are on a sliding scale calculated using the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Australian Standard Geographical Classification — Remoteness Areas (ASGC-RA) system. The more remote the area and the longer a doctor stays there, the higher the rewards (see Table 1).

Table 1 - General Practice Rural Incentives Program (GPRIP) Practice time (years) in a rural and remote location RA location






RA2 (Inner regional)






RA3 (Outer regional)






RA4 (Remote)






RA5 (Very remote)







Visit our website ­—

4 Money matters

HELP/HECS Reimbursement Scheme The HELP/HECS Reimbursement Scheme applies to Australian graduates who completed their medical degree in the year 2000 or later. Participants in the scheme have a proportion of their HELP/HECS fees reimbursed for each

full-time year of medical training undertaken or service provided in areas designated as Australian Standard Geographical Classification RA2–5. These reimbursements are scaled to reward doctors working in the most remote areas who receive a higher level of reimbursement and recover their fee payments over a shorter period of time (see Table 2).

Table 2 - HELP/HECS Reimbursement Scheme ASGC-RA classification


No. of years to receive full reimbursement 5 years

Going Places tip Discuss with RTPs about the financial incentives you may be able to claim in addition to your salary or visit




4 years

3 years

2 years

More Doctors for Outer Metropolitan Areas Relocation Incentive Grant This is another DoHA program for GP registrars on the general pathway who have completed their training and are prepared to work in an outer metropolitan area for two years. Newly fellowed general practitioners must apply within three months of receiving their fellowship and are eligible for a total payment of up to $30,000, paid in three instalments of 40 per cent, 40 per cent and 20 per cent. For those who further commit to outer metropolitan areas by setting up their own practice and staying for three years, there is a total of $40,000 available. For more information, visit

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice



Keeping your balance

Stress less six tips and tricks from GPs

Many GPs have developed their own practical and sometimes idiosyncratic ways of dealing with the pressures of the job — from lying down to lathering up.

I do this after all my ‘heartsink patients’. It wipes the slate clean and it’s much less painful than banging my forehead on the back of the door when they leave.”— Dr E.

GPs regularly see patients with health problems due to stress. But when it comes to managing their own stress, many choose to tough it out — which can result in burnout or worse.

“As a GP, I have to wash my hands many times each day at work. I find it helpful to imagine that I am washing away any ‘negative energy’ from the last patient as I wash my hands.

Self-care is essential for doctors if they are to enjoy a sustainable career in medicine. No matter where you are in your medical training, establishing habits such as these can make a real difference to your wellbeing now and in the future.

This is a simple exercise that helps me to finish with one patient and prepare for the next.” — Dr H.

2. Use humour “I use humour. So when it all goes pear-shaped I say, ‘that went well!’, and laugh.”— Dr D.

3. Wash the negativity away

Following is a list of simple strategies practised by GPs from GPRA’s R-cubed website — Real Resilience Resources ( See which ones works for you.

1. On the couch “Doctors can use the examination couch too! After any particularly stressful interaction with a patient (or practice staff for that matter) I find it helpful to ‘get horizontal’. Climb up on the examination couch, lie there staring at the ceiling for a minute or two, let go of the angst and when you hop up, you’ll feel refreshed and ready for your next encounter. 54

Visit our website ­—

Dr Sam Goodwin relaxes by getting active outdoors.

5 Keeping your balance

4. Exercise! “I try to exercise every day after work — I do a different thing on each day. This keeps me interested and breaks up the exercise routine. It also helps me to prescribe specific exercises to my patients, as I have first-hand experience in what has worked for me. Mondays — walk at the beach and watch the waves, surfers and swimmers, and feel the sea breeze. (Great for stress management and when I am feeling lazy.) Tuesdays — high intensity cycle class and sweat out all the frustrations of the day. (Good for cardio and weight loss.)

minutes, to get some sunshine, fresh air and exercise. I have really found that helps to clear my head from the challenges of the morning, and reinvigorate me for the afternoon session. Even if I then have to stay 15 minutes later in the evening to finish off the paperwork I left at lunchtime, it is worth it.” — Dr J.

6. Catch-up time “Call or email a few colleagues and plan an enjoyable activity together — coffee, dinner at a pub, a cards night or a movie night. You will be able to relax while also having the opportunity for peer support.”— Dr S.

Wednesdays — core stability class. (Enables me to share tips with back pain sufferers.) Thursdays — muscle strengthening with light weights. (Osteoporosis prevention and weight loss.) Fridays — yoga, pilates and balance class with meditation. (Reduces my anxiety levels and helps me wind down.) I find I am a more credible prescriber of SNAP (S – quit Smoking, N – better Nutrition, A – moderate Alcohol, P – more Physical activity) having practised what I preach.”— Dr J.

5. Take a lunchtime walk “Previously I used to spend my lunch break going through paperwork while simultaneously eating my lunch. Recently I have taken to making sure I go for a walk, even just for 15

real resilience resources You can find more tips and strategies about being a resilient doctor on the R-cubed website — a GPRA initiative to give GP registrars, prevocational doctors and medical students real resources to build resilience. Check out other ideas like one-minute meditations, phone coaching and selfexpression through art, writing, music and creative interests. You can also find news on the latest research into ways to manage busy lifestyles and work. Visit

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


Part-time, smart time The part-time training options and parental leave available to GP registrars make general practice training very flexible.

The flexibility of general practice when it comes to working hours is one of the reasons many people choose it as their career path. The training program has the same flexibility, with parental leave and part-time training an attractive offering. Of course, part-time training is especially attractive for those having babies and raising young children. However, the part-time option can also give other registrars the freedom to take up opportunities, such as becoming an RLO or an academic registrar. When thinking about part-time training, consider the following: of the training program, • Allwithcomponents the possible exception of hospital time,

can be undertaken on a part-time basis.

As you start training as a registrar, you • need to apply for part-time training to 56

your RTP and have it approved by your RTP before you begin working part-time. Visit our website ­—

is considered to be 38 hours per • Full-time week, which includes all consultation time.

Part-time training is anything less than 38 hours. Anything less than 38 hours, that is part-time, will be pro-rata and affect GPRIP payments if applicable.

nine patient contact hours per week.

part-time registrar.

remain within the AGPT program. • Toregistrars need to undertake a minimum of should negotiate the amount of • You practice-based teaching during a term as a

must attend • You educational activities that are required of you by your RTP.

Most training • usually occurs on weekdays.

The RACGP states that general practice nry n and He o tt o experience gained C x Dr Ale while working part- time is valuable and likely to be worth more than an estimation of time alone would indicate. This is why acceleration of part-time training to ‘half-time’ training is available. It basically means that in order to have a 12-month term counted as the equivalent of six months full-time you need to ‘accelerate’ your training with a set of log diaries. These log diaries show that the number and range of patients seen are giving you adequate experience.

5 Keeping your balance

Going Places tip want to apply for parental leave • Ifandyouenquire about part-time training Taking parental leave All parental leave is unpaid by employers in • the AGPT program but you may be eligible for paid parental leave from the Australian Government. You need to apply to your RTP for parental • leave — it is up to their discretion to grant

it or not.

Applications must be made in writing to • the RTP at least three months before the

expected date of leave.

primary caregiver is eligible for leave of • The up to 12 months following the live birth,

adoption or assumption of guardianship of the child or children.

Further information: Please see the AGPT Full- Time Equivalent Policy 2010 at

opportunities, talk to your RTP and your practice well in advance of your baby’s arrival.

in touch, consider applying for an • ToRLOkeepposition with your RTP. This offers a

great opportunity to network and travel to meetings and education sessions.

Dr Alex Cotton Practising medicine and motherhood ‘Having it all’ — career, marriage and babies — remains a tricky balancing act for many women. For GP registrar and new mum Dr Alex Cotton, the part-time training and work arrangements available in general practice have proved a big help. “General practice allows you to have it all and feel as though you can do it well — most of the time!” Alex said. “My husband Pete works full-time so if I were to work full-time too it would put a lot of extra pressure on both of us.” Her first baby Henry’s entry into the world was well timed — the last day of GPT2. Alex was able to take six months parental leave to bond with her new son then return to the consulting room two days a week.

The Cotto n


Alex is doing GPT3 at the Orange Aboriginal Medical Service as well as studying for her fellowship exams. Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice



About general practice training

The structure of A brief overview of the who, what and how of general practice training.

The RTP is responsible for administering the training program, training GP supervisors, and delivering educational activities and training material to registrars.

What is the AGPT program?

Is training funded?

The Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program is the vocational training program for GP registrars.

Training places under the AGPT program and RVTS (see below) are fully funded by government, and registrars are paid while training.

What is GPET?


General Practice Education and Training Ltd (GPET) is a government-owned company established in 2001 by the Australian Government to fund and oversee general practice vocational training in Australia.

For those who wish to train in isolated remote locations, there is an alternative to the AGPT program — the Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS), which involves distance education and remote supervision. (see pages 78-79)

Can I be enrolled in another specialty program while doing the AGPT program? Yes, this is now possible from 1 January 2012. This must be approved in advance by the RTP, be supported by your medical educator and be incorporated in your learning plan. However, you may not be enrolled in another program during your first six months of the AGPT program. Following this initial six months, you can do another specialty program part-time. See the Training Outside of AGPT Policy 2010 (effective from 1 January 2012) online at

What are RTPs? GPET contracts with 17 regional training providers (RTPs) Australia-wide. RTPs deliver the AGPT program in their designated region, enabling a targeted response to local workforce and population health needs. 60

Visit our website ­—

Other ways to fellowship There are three other pathways to fellowship designed for experienced practitioners. The Independent Pathway, offered by the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), emphasises self-directed learning. The Specialist Pathway, offered by both the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and ACRRM, assesses the experience and qualifications of overseastrained doctors. The Practice Eligible Pathway, offered by the RACGP, is another option that assesses doctors experienced in general practice, including overseas-trained doctors with at least one year’s experience in Australia. These pathways are not funded under the AGPT program and various fees are involved (contact the colleges for specific information).

6 About general practice training

The AGPT landscape Australian Government

General Practice Education and Training Ltd

Australian General Practice Training

Prevocational General Practice Placements Program (PGPPP)

Australian General Practice Training program (AGPT)

Training providers Hospital/practices

Vocational training

Fellowship of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (FACRRM)

Quality general practice experience

Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (FRACGP)

Vocational recognition

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


FACRRM qualifications (ACRRM)

Year one

Core clinical training time

FRACGP qualifications (RACGP) Possible equivalence*

12 months

+ Year two

Primary rural & remote training 2 x 6 months

Primary rural & remote training 2 x 6 months

Joint training opportunities are available†

Year four

Advanced specialised training 12 months

GP terms

GPT1— 6 months GPT2 — 6 months

+ Joint training opportunities are available†

+ Note: Fourth year is for FACRRM and FARGP candidates

12 months


+ Year three

Hospital training time

GPT3 — 6 months Extended Skills — 6 months

FRACGP (VR) Possible equivalence*

Advanced skills training for FARGP (12 months)

FACRRM (VR) * Credit given for AGPT training already undertaken towards one fellowship, prior to undertaking a second or third fellowship. † Can be achieved in dual-accredited practices or posts. Note: Although this table is presented in a linear format, both colleges have flexible training options to enable registrars to plan their training around their own needs and interests. See the college websites for more information.

What is the role of the two colleges of general practice?

What are the endpoint qualifications/fellowships?

RACGP and ACRRM establish training standards, set examinations and assessments, accredit training placements and approve completion of training by registrars.

Attainment of a Fellowship of the RACGP (FRACGP) or a Fellowship of ACRRM (FACRRM) is necessary to become vocationally recognised for independent general practice in Australia under the Medicare system.


Visit our website ­—

6 About general practice training

ACRRM has specifically designed its curriculum to meet the needs of doctors practising in rural and remote settings. However, fellows of ACRRM may ultimately practise anywhere in Australia — rural, remote or urban. The RACGP’s curriculum is designed to prepare GPs for practice in any setting. Those who want to complement their FRACGP with more specialised rural and remote skills can do the RACGP’s Fellowship in Advanced Rural General Practice (FARGP) as an additional optional qualification (see pages 71-72). You may wish to complete one, two or three qualifications (FRACGP, FACRRM and FARGP) and this can be integrated into your training course from the beginning.

Geographical classification Your training pathways and obligations are designed around the Australian Standard Geographical Classification-Remoteness Areas (ASGC-RA) system, developed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics . This classifies all Australian towns and cities on a scale of 1–5, where 1 includes major cities and 5 denotes the most remote areas. The General Practice Rural Incentives Program (GPRIP) payments are also based on the ASGC-RA system.

What are the training pathways and obligations?

If you have completed these before joining the AGPT program, you will need to apply for recognition of prior learning (RPL). You can complete the rest of your general practice training via either the general pathway or the rural pathway. Doctors from overseas who are subject to the 10-year moratorium are usually required to follow the rural pathway.

General pathway RA1–5 Registrars in the general pathway of the AGPT program can train in RA1–5 locations. Training in the general pathway does not preclude a registrar later working in rural or remote areas. General pathway registrars are required to complete 12 months of their training outside the inner metropolitan area of a capital city, or alternatively six months of training outside the inner metropolitan area of a capital city and six months of training in an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander health training post. There is a range of flexible options to achieve this: 1. 12 months in a rural location RA2–5 2. 12 months in an outer metropolitan location 3. 12 months in a non-capital city classified as RA1 4. Six months in any two of the above areas (12 months total) 5. Six months in one of the above areas plus six months in an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health post at an Aboriginal Medical Service (12 months total).

Before starting training in the general practice setting, you need to complete mandatory hospital rotations determined by the colleges. Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


*New England/North-West ^Sydney Central and South/South-West

 NT  Northern Territory GP Education

 QLD  Queensland Rural Medical Education + Central & Southern Queensland Training Consortium  QLD  Tropical Medical Training

 QLD  Central & Southern Queensland Training Consortium

WA  WAGPET SA Adelaide to Outback GP Training

 NSW  North Coast GP Training  NSW   VIC  Beyond Medical Education

 NSW  GP Synergy^

SA Sturt Fleurieu GP Education & Training

 NSW  WentWest ACT  NSW  CoastCityCountry Training

SA Sturt Fleurieu GP Education & Training + VIC  SA Southern GP Training VIC  SA Southern GP Training VIC  SA Southern GP Training + VIC  Victorian Metropolitan Alliance

Going Places tip Recognition of prior learning Recognition of prior learning (RPL) gained in hospital before entry into GP training is possible but requires good documentation. Carefully collecting your documentation while in the hospital system will save you time later. You need to apply for RPL in your first year in the AGPT program and have full documentary evidence of your relevant experiences to qualify.


Visit our website ­—

 NSW  GP Synergy*  NSW  GP Training Valley to Coast

 NSW   VIC  Bogong Regional Training Network VIC  Victorian Metropolitan Alliance TAS GP Training Tasmania

Rural pathway RA2–5 Rural pathway registrars are required to undertake their training in rural locations RA2–5. Eligible registrars will benefit from the Australian Government’s General Practice Rural Incentives Program, known as GPRIP (see pages 50–51).

Personalised learning The AGPT program is personalised to meet each registrar’s individual goals and career aspirations and is a composite of in-practice learning and external education and training arranged by your RTP. Your medical educators, supervisors and mentors will help guide your learning to shape your future career.

6 About general practice training

Flexible aspects of training The AGPT program is known for its flexibility. Part-time training is a popular feature, especially for women having children. Parental leave and other reasonable leave breaks may be negotiated. Transfers between RTPs may be possible to arrange if the registrar has a strong case.

How GPRA helps With so many different entities involved, each with a slightly different focus, General Practice Registrars Australia (GPRA) plays an important unifying role with its focus on the interests of the registrar.

Do it now

GPRA works on behalf of GP registrars to identify and rectify any problems and inconsistencies that may occur with so many stakeholders involved in general practice training. Contributed by Dr Christine Willis, Dr George Manoliadis and Dr Jenny Lonergan

Who’s who ACRRM Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine AGPT Australian General Practice Training program FACRRM Fellowship of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine FARGP Fellowship in Advanced Rural General Practice

For more information about the Australian General Practice Training program, visit:

FRACGP Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

Going Places Network AGPT



GPRA General Practice Registrars Australia


RACGP Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

GPRA RTP websites (see pages 84-128)

General Practice Education and Training Ltd


Regional training provider

For an expanded glossary of terms, see pages 138–141.

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


Understanding the moratorium Have you come to Australia from overseas? Then there may be restrictions on where you can practise. Doctors from overseas are being welcomed to help fill Australia’s GP shortage. However, to ensure these doctors work in the geographic regions that address workforce shortages, the Australian Government has certain policies that apply to overseas-trained doctors (OTDs) and foreign graduates of an accredited medical school (FGAMS).

What is section 19AB/ the 10-year moratorium? Section 19AB of the Health Insurance Act 1973, also known as the 10-year moratorium, states that OTDs and FGAMS will only be issued with a Medicare provider number if they work in areas deemed by the government to be a district of workforce shortage (DWS). This usually means a rural, remote or outer metropolitan area. GP registrars under the moratorium do their vocational training in the rural pathway.

How long does it last? Originally, the geographic limitation on provider numbers lasted for 10 years, which is why the scheme became known as the 10-year moratorium. However, there have been recent changes that allow doctors to reduce the moratorium time by up to five years, depending on the Remoteness Area (RA) of the location where they practise. The Australian Standard Geographical Classification-Remoteness Areas (ASGC-RA) system classifies locations from RA1 to RA5 according to their remoteness, with RA1 being the most urban and RA5 the most remote. The reduction in moratorium time is dependent on the remoteness of the area in which a doctor practises.


Visit our website ­—

6 About general practice training

Who is under the moratorium? The moratorium applies to: overseas-trained doctors who did not obtain their primary qualification in Australia or New Zealand

Dr Mirza Baig

doctors trained in Australia or • overseas New Zealand who began studying in

Australia or New Zealand under a temporary visa and subsequently obtained their primary qualification from an Australian or New Zealand university.

When does the moratorium start? The period starts from the time a doctor is registered as a medical practitioner in Australia. If a doctor has not obtained Australian permanent residency or citizenship by the end of the 10-year moratorium, they will still need a section 19AB exemption in order to continue to access Medicare benefits.

• For more information, talk to your RTP, visit or •

My training provider is General Practice Training Tasmania (GPTT). My current post is a GPT3 post at the Latrobe Family Medical Practice in Latrobe, the platypus capital of the world. I also work at the Tasmanian Skin and Body Centre. What I love about general practice is that I meet wonderful people — artists, ex-pilots, fishermen, salespeople and farmers. Ordinary people with extraordinary stories. After hours I try to relax with mates and be a good dad to my eight-year-old. He reads me bedtime stories.

Fact file

Registrar rave

If you need detailed information about your individual circumstances, contact the Department of Health and Ageing Workforce Regulation Section —

A quirky fact about me is that if I was not a GP, I would have been the cartoon character Hagar the Horrible. Friends tell me I look like him.

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice



Fellowship Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners certifies competence for delivering unsupervised general practice services in any general practice setting in Australia. What is the FRACGP? Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (FRACGP) is held in high esteem around the world, with successful completion certifying competence to deliver unsupervised general practice services in any general practice setting in Australia — urban, regional, rural or remote. The international recognition of the RACGP Fellowship is expanding, and it is now recognised in New Zealand, Ireland and Canada.* The RACGP conjoint fellowship examinations continue to be delivered in Malaysia and Hong Kong.

Vocational training towards FRACGP Vocational training towards FRACGP is three years full-time (or part-time equivalent) comprising: Hospital training (12 months) — four • compulsory hospital rotations (general 68

medicine, general surgery, emergency Visit our website ­—

medicine and paediatrics) plus three hospital rotations of your choice, provided they are relevant to general practice.

General practice placements (18 months) • — completed in RACGP-accredited

teaching practices, with a compulsory term (minimum of six months) in an outer metropolitan area or rural-remote area.

skills (six months) — can be • Extended completed in a range of RACGP-accredited

settings, including advanced rural skills, an overseas post, an academic post or extended procedural skills.

Further training options The advanced academic term is an optional fourth year, allowing part-time work within a university department and part-time work in clinical general practice. Optional advanced rural skills training (ARST) can be undertaken at any time during training which offers additional procedural skills in rural general practice. The RACGP also offers a Fellowship in Advanced Rural General Practice (FARGP). For further information, see pages 71-72. *Contact the relevant colleges for details. Contributed by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

6 About general practice training

About the FRACGP examination

When can I enrol to sit the FRACGP examination?

The FRACGP examination comprises: two online written segments — the Applied Knowledge Test (AKT) and Key Feature Problems (KFP) and

If the chief executive officer (CEO) or authorised senior medical educator of the registrar’s regional training provider authorises, the registrar will be eligible to enrol in the AKT only after completing six active training units. Two of these units must be GP term 1 (also known as the basic term).

clinical segment — the Objective • one Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). To allow for greater flexibility, each segment can be completed and paid for separately. All three segments need to be completed within a three-year period of first passing one of the online written segments.

Am I eligible to sit the examination? To be eligible to sit the college examination, all registrar candidates are required to: current medical registration • have in Australia

be a current financial member of • the RACGP achieved certified competence • have in a recognised cardiopulmonary

resuscitation course (CPR) within 36 months of the opening of enrolment

• have completed the required training.

With the CEO or authorised senior medical educator’s authority, all segments of the examination may be undertaken upon completion of eight active units of training. These units include: 1. Two basic units — GP term 1. 2. Two advanced units — GP term 2. 3. Four other units — these units may be hospital training, special skills, extended skills, subsequent time (GPT3), optional elective or mandatory elective. Recognition of prior learning may contribute up to four units. The eight active units must be completed by the date specified at the time of enrolment. Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS) candidates are eligible to enrol in the FRACGP examination following satisfactory completion of 12 months in the RVTS, in addition to the standard RACGP eligibility criteria.

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


The RACGP journey towards general practice (via the vocational training route) Medical school (4-6 years)

Internship year (PGY1)

Postgraduate resident years (PGY2) (this can be completed before or during general practice training)

General practice training (3 years)

RACGP Fellowship examination

Prevocational General Practice Placements Program PGPPP (optional)

4th year additional training in advanced rural skills or advanced academic skills (optional)

Successful completion of RACGP training and assessment

RACGP Fellowship

Continuing professional development


Visit our website ­—

Fellowship in Advanced Rural General Practice (FARGP) (optional)

6 About general practice training


Fellowship in Advanced Rural General Practice (FARGP) The FARGP is a fellowship

that offers advanced training in the skills required Structure of the FARGP There are five main elements of the FARGP: for rural and remote practice. It extends on the 1. 12 months in an accredited rural general practice post. Fellowship of the Royal 2. 12 months in an accredited advanced Australian College of skills training post (the skill needs to be General Practitioners relevant to rural general practice). (FRACGP). What is the FARGP?

The Fellowship in Advanced Rural General Practice (FARGP — pronounced ‘far-GP’) recognises the advanced rural skills and additional training undertaken by GPs in preparation for practice in rural and remote Australia.

FARGP enrolment information enrolling in the fellowship, a registrar • Before or practising GP needs to be a current

financial member of the RACGP and either working towards or intending to work towards their FRACGP.

fellowship can be completed with or • The after the FRACGP.

graduate with two fellowships • Candidates — FARGP and FRACGP.

• The whole process usually takes four years. • The FARGP on its own takes 12–18 months.

3. Development of a learning plan and 160 hours of educational activities to complete the plan.

4. Completion of a core unit of activities in emergency medicine.

5. Completion of a core unit of activities working in rural general practice.

The FARGP is flexible and self-paced. The educational activities have a strong practicebased focus. There is no final exam for the FARGP — it is based on a continuous assessment framework.

FARGP under review The FARGP is currently under review and the plan is to have more of the activities available online. The new FARGP will be launched early in 2012.

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


Advanced rural skills training An important component of the FARGP is advanced rural skills training (ARST). Each ARST has its own curriculum guidelines and assessment process. Registrars may choose to complete an ARST post in an area of interest or of value to a rural community including: anaesthetics obstetrics surgery emergency medicine mental health child and adolescent health adult internal medicine small town rural general practice Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health individually designed ARST (approval by the RACGP National Rural Faculty is required, after consulting your medical educator).

• • • • • • • • • •

Contributed by the RACGP National Rural Faculty

Do it now Learn more about the Fellowship in Advanced Rural General Practice (FARGP) from your RTP. Alternatively, email, call 1800 636 764 or visit


Visit our website ­—

Committed to shaping the future of general practice

As the national leader who sets and maintains the standards for quality clinical practice, the RACGP is working hard to shape a stronger general practice future. The College has embraced the concept of e-health; is actively involved in the development of national e-health initiatives; is at the forefront of the national health reform; and continues to ensure that general practice remains a satisfying and rewarding vocation for current and future GPs.

Dr John Wong, intern

As a RACGP resident/intern member, you can become involved in shaping the future of general practice. Your RACGP resident/intern membership also provides you with the practical clinical resources and online learning tools you need to support your medical training and journey through general practice.

Join the RACGP or renew your RACGP resident/intern membership today or freecall 1800 331 626


Fellowship rural communities who find it difficult to The Australian College of leave their community to participate in Rural and Remote Medicine training; or the Independent Pathway, (ACRRM) has specifically administered by ACRRM, which is suitable for doctors with experience who prefer designed its GP training program to meet the needs self-directed learning. For more information on which pathway is most suitable for you, of the rural and remote contact the ACRRM vocational training team. practitioner, especially for Vocational training advanced procedural skills.

What is the FACRRM?

Fellowship of ACRRM is an approved pathway to vocational registration and unrestricted general practice anywhere in Australia.

a four-year integrated training program • Itforisregistrars wanting to train for rural and


Core Clinical Training — Registrars • complete 12 months of training in an ACRRM-accredited metropolitan, provincial or regional/rural hospital. This should ideally include rotations in general medicine, general surgery, paediatrics, emergency medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology, and anaesthetics.

Rural and Remote Training — • Primary Registrars undertake 24 months of training

The ACRRM training program comprises three stages of learning and experience (see table on page 76).

remote medicine. (Training time is reduced where a candidate is granted recognition of prior learning, or RPL.) The training occurs on the job as a registrar in an ACRRM-accredited general practice, Aboriginal Medical Service, Royal Flying Doctor Service or as a medical officer in an ACRRM-accredited hospital setting. Candidates wishing to achieve a Fellowship of ACRRM can apply for one of three training pathways: the Vocational Preparation Pathway delivered by regional training providers with funding from GPET; the Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS) for doctors working in isolated

program components

Visit our website ­—

in a combination of rural or remote ACRRM-accredited general practices/ community-based facilities, hospitals, Aboriginal Medical Services, Royal Flying Doctor Service, or a combination of these. The registrar works with increasing autonomy and manages an increasing range of conditions. The specific procedures, breadth and depth of practice are defined

6 About general practice training

by the Primary Curriculum and Procedural Skills Logbook.

• Advanced Specialised Training — Registrars undertake 12 months of

training in one of 10 ACRRM-accredited disciplines listed in the table on page 76.

FACRRM assessment

must successfully complete the • Registrars following assessments: Procedural Skills

Logbook, Multi Source Feedback (MSF), Mini Clinical Evaluation Exercise (miniCEX), Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) exam and Structured Assessment Using Multiple Patient Scenarios (StAMPS), plus assessments specific to their chosen Advanced Specialised Training discipline.

There is considerable flexibility in the • timing of the assessments and registrars can opt to undertake each assessment component in or close to their local community. achieve FACRRM, candidates must also • Tosuccessfully complete four ACRRM online

education modules and at least two emergency skills courses approved by ACRRM (for example, EMST/ELS/PHTLS or equivalent, APLS, ALSO).

Frequently asked questions How is FACRRM integrated into the AGPT program? Registrars enrolled in the AGPT program can elect to train to either or both the FACRRM and the FRACGP. FACRRM training is open to both rural and general pathway registrars providing that they work in ACRRM-accredited training posts. Can candidates do both qualifications at the same time? Yes, but requirements for placement, duration of training and completion of training are different between the FACRRM and FRACGP. Registrars seeking both fellowships will need to talk to their RTP about a program that complies with both colleges. What is the difference between the ACRRM and RACGP training pathways? The ACRRM program is an integrated program that usually takes four years post-internship. ACRRM has a different curriculum and assessments, and has different requirements for accreditation of training posts. Candidates must train in posts accredited by ACRRM. Contributed by the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine

Do it now Find out more

For more information, visit the ACRRM website (, call ACRRM on 1800 223 226 or contact ACRRM Vocational Training,

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


The ACRRM Fellowship Training Program After first completing Core Clinical Training, a registrar may complete the remainder of the training requirements in any order.

Core Clinical Training (12 months)

Primary Rural and Remote Training (24 months)

Advanced Specialised Training (12 months)

The ACRRM Fellowship begins with Core Clinical Training. This stage is 12 months working in an accredited hospital, where you complete required terms in:

Primary Rural and Remote Training comprises a total of 24 months in rural or remote settings accredited by ACRRM. These can include hospitals, general practices, Aboriginal Medical Services or the Royal Flying Doctor Service. You may choose to complete your Primary Rural and Remote Training in one or several locations. Training in a single location will enable you to build a strong relationship with colleagues and your community. However, training in several locations may better equip you to expand your posting opportunities later in your career. Primary Rural and Remote Training will build your clinical and procedural skills, and your confidence to work in rural and remote contexts.

Advanced Specialised Training broadens your skills and capacity beyond the standard scope of general practice training. With these supplementary procedural skills, your expanded professional scope can include clinical privileging in hospitals, access to additional Medicare Benefits Scheme item numbers and contributing to the pool of medical skills in your district. Advanced Specialised Training requires a minimum of 12 months training in one of the 10 disciplines specified by the college:

• • • • • •

general internal medicine general surgery paediatrics emergency medicine

obstetrics and gynaecology anaesthetics. This training should provide you with sufficient clinical cases and opportunistic learning to form a good foundation to begin work in rural or remote practice.

• • • • • • • • • •

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health adult internal medicine anaesthetics emergency medicine mental health obstetrics and gynaecology paediatrics population health remote medicine

surgery. Each Advanced Specialised Training discipline has its own curriculum and assessment requirements.


Visit our website ­—

RVTS RVTS trains GP registrars working in rural and remote locations, where accessing mainstream training is impractical or impossible. The Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS) offers GP registrars working in rural or remote locations a unique remote training experience and an alternative pathway to fellowship.

Remote training and supervision RVTS trains its registrars via distance education and provides remote supervision. No location is too remote and the program is structured to meet the needs of solo practitioners. Education is delivered via: Teletutorials — Weekly 90-minute • education sessions via teleconference.

RVTS registrars enjoy the same level of support as their big city counterparts, no matter how remote they are. 78

Visit our website ­—

An alternative pathway to fellowship teaching visits — An experienced • On-site rural practitioner visits the registrar to

observe consultations and provide feedback.

workshops — Registrars • Face-to-face meet for five days of practical training twice

a year.

supervision — Each registrar is • Remote allocated a supervisor who acts as a mentor

and provides clinical and educational advice.

RVTS registrars enjoy the same level of support as their big city counterparts, no matter how remote they are, and can be found practising as Royal Flying Doctors, district medical officers, with Aboriginal Medical Services and in private practice. They serve a variety of communities, from farming and mining towns through to remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Many work in solo practice.

Eligibility RVTS is an independent, Australian Government funded program with its own application process and annual intake of 22 registrars. Applications open in May each year for training starting the following February. Geographic location is the key eligibility requirement. To apply, applicants must be working in an eligible location, or have arrangements in place to be in an eligible location, at the start of training. Applicants must provide continuing, whole-patient care. Preference is given to doctors working

6 About general practice training

in solo practice and those who cannot access Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program. Once accepted, the registrar remains in the same location throughout their training. Check the RVTS ( website for complete eligibility criteria.

The endpoint This three to four-year program meets the requirements for fellowship with both the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM). Twelve-month training is available in advanced skills curricula, such as anaesthetics, obstetrics and emergency medicine. Contributed by the Remote Vocational Training Scheme

Fact file What: Train for FRACGP/FARGP or FACRRM in rural or remote locations.

Who: The registrar who enjoys the independence of rural or remote practice but wants a supportive training environment.

Information: Contact RVTS on (02) 6021 6235 or visit

Dr Joanna


A remotely supervised GP registrar working in solo rural practice by PGY3 wasn’t exactly what Dr Joanna Longley planned. “It happened by accident,” she recalled. “The senior doctor I was supposed to work with was on extended sick leave and didn’t return to the practice.” Fortunately for Joanna, RVTS was perfectly positioned to support her during the transition from junior hospital doctor to solo GP. “I don’t think I would have survived without RVTS,” she said. “It was isolating and difficult initially, but RVTS gave me the skills and confidence to work alone.” A registrar in the 2010 cohort, Joanna is now making strides towards her GP fellowship and hopes to start exams in 2012. “The best thing about RVTS is having an experienced GP at the end of the phone when you need advice,” she said. Joanna currently spends the majority of her time in solo GP practice in Springsure, Queensland, but also works in the emergency department at Emerald Hospital. She has an unpredictable and heavy workload, but she enjoys the autonomy and the generalist nature of the job.

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


Joining forces with the ADF Around 2.5 per cent of GPs train in the Australian Defence Force. It’s an opportunity to develop leadership skills and specific medical skills in a challenging environment.

Training as a GP registrar in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) offers opportunities and challenges.

Most ADF MOs are recruited as medical students, some from universities and others from within the services. A small number join as direct entry medical practitioners. 80

Visit our website ­—

ADF registrars must meet the same educational requirements but there are some specific policies relating to ADF GP registrars. These include leave provisions, transfer between RTPs and modified requirements regarding work in outer metropolitan and rural areas. General practice terms are undertaken through a combination of civilian and military posts, known as composite terms. The unique demographic of the military necessitates concurrent exposure to the broader Australian community to ensure experience in areas such as paediatrics and geriatrics. Generally, composite terms are accredited only after an initial full-time civilian term, usually a three-month rural term. While most ADF registrars will select the general pathway, exposure to rural general practice provides valuable experience in the decision-making, leadership, teamwork and clinical skills that can be utilised for ADF clinical practice in Australia and when deployed. Deployments may be prospectively accredited for training. Initially, medical officers (MOs) in the ADF are encouraged to specialise in primary care. This is important because whether in Australia or deployed, ADF personnel need access to high quality primary health care. There are also opportunities to specialise in public health, medical administration, occupational medicine and sports medicine, known as the ‘force

6 About general practice training

protection’ specialties. Generally, the procedural specialties (surgery, anaesthetics, orthopaedics) required for providing higher level care on deployments reside within the Reserve Forces.

ADF medical officer recruitment Most ADF MOs are recruited as medical students, some from universities and others from within the Services. A small number join as direct entry qualified medical practitioners. Medical students and trainees are considered ADF members and attract a salary and ADF benefits, such as superannuation, allowances, medical and dental care, and accommodation options while under training. The MO’s primary duty is to train at medical school, then complete PGY1 and 2 prior to their first full-time posting to an ADF unit. At the unit, the MO receives further training, in parallel with the AGPT, including officer training, early management of severe trauma (EMST) and specialist courses, such as aviation medicine or underwater medicine. At the same time, the MO gets acquainted with the military medical system.

Clinical competency levels Clinical employment is based on progression through clinical Competency Levels (CL). Beginning at CL1, MOs who have completed initial courses and a period of supervised primary care are recognised as CL2. MOs at CL2 have basic skills and are considered suitable for remote supervision in an operational deployment environment. Those who have achieved FRACGP or FACRRM progress to CL3.

Remuneration In return for supporting the initial medical training, the ADF requires a Return of Service Obligation (ROSO) or Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS). During internship and residency, Defence continues to pay the MO a salary, while wages earned from the hospital or other employers are paid to Defence. If hospital pay exceeds military pay, the difference is paid to the MO periodically. MOs at CL2 and above are reimbursed a further $10,000 annually for continuing medical education expenses. Contributed by Dr Geoff Menzies

Do it now Medical students, junior doctors and GP registrars and fellows wanting to explore a career as an ADF medical officer (MO) may find it helpful to speak with a current ADF registrar. You can speak to a member of the ADF Joint Health Command who can direct your query to a relevant person by phoning CMDR Bronwyn Ferrier, Staff Officer Medical Officers, (02) 6266 4176 or emailing For more information or to apply, call 13 19 01 or visit

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


Dr Scott Hahn

Earning his stripes as a military registrar Captain Scott Hahn is a GP registrar with the Army in Brisbane and a GP Ambassador. For Dr Scott Hahn, military medicine has proved an exciting way to earn his stripes in general practice. Scott was introduced to military life when working in his former career as an academic in biomedical science at Southern Cross University in Lismore.

for a career change offered by the Graduate Medical Scheme with the ADF. While his work as an academic involved lecturing on biomedical topics to nursing and naturopathy students, he clung to his youthful ambition to be a medical doctor and practise clinical medicine. The Graduate Medical Scheme means a full-time salary while studying at university and training as a doctor. In return, Scott will work a Return of Service Obligation (ROSO) based on the number of sponsored training years plus one.

“It’s another challenge The Army Reserve engaged him to work as a science officer and adventure He is excited by the advising on health threat prospect career transition. assessment. rolled into “It’s anotherof hischallenge and Scott had an immediate affinity with adventure rolled into one, ” he said. one…” military culture and loved the outdoor training with the Army Reserve on the weekends — a complete contrast to the indoor pursuits of academia. It was here that he became aware of the work of military doctors and the opportunity

Based on his qualifications, skills and experience, Scott entered the ADF through the specialist services officer stream and was commissioned at the rank of Captain. He began his education as an Army officer with an intensive six-weekcourse at Duntroon.

Having finished his four-year postgraduate medical degree at the University of Queensland, Scott is now doing his junior doctor hospital training at Logan Hospital south of Brisbane. He is looking forward to starting his first general practice term soon and, further down the track, receiving his Army posting.

Captain Scott Hahn


Visit our website ­—


Regional training providers

Regional training providers in Australia Regional training providers (RTPs) deliver the AGPT program to specific areas across Australia. There are currently 17 RTPs in Australia. Each RTP has a registrar liaison officer (RLO), who is often the first port of call for your training questions. Your RTP will support your formal training with an individual learning plan, guidance and

monitoring by medical education staff and GP supervisors in the practice environment. While each RTP provides training based on the same AGPT and college standards, each has its own characteristics, style and experiences to offer. Check that your preferred RTPs can provide training for the pathway, fellowships, training posts and special interests you want to pursue. Check the RTP profiles on the following pages, visit their websites or visit all RTPs from one convenient source at *New England/North-West ^Sydney Central and South/South-West

 NT  Northern Territory GP Education

 QLD  Queensland Rural Medical Education + Central & Southern Queensland Training Consortium  QLD  Tropical Medical Training

 QLD  Central & Southern Queensland Training Consortium

WA  WAGPET SA Adelaide to Outback GP Training

 NSW  North Coast GP Training  NSW   VIC  Beyond Medical Education

SA Sturt Fleurieu GP Education & Training SA Sturt Fleurieu GP Education & Training + VIC  SA Southern GP Training VIC  SA Southern GP Training VIC  SA Southern GP Training + VIC  Victorian Metropolitan Alliance


Visit our website ­—

 NSW  GP Synergy*  NSW  GP Training Valley to Coast  NSW  GP Synergy^  NSW  WentWest ACT  NSW  CoastCityCountry GP Training  NSW   VIC  Bogong Regional Training Network VIC  Victorian Metropolitan Alliance TAS GP Training Tasmania


7 Regional training providers

CoastCityCountry General PracticeTraining ACT  NSW 

Geography and lifestyle

Location CoastCityCountry General Practice Training (CCCGPT) is the largest rural and regional training provider in NSW, delivering training to South East NSW and the ACT. This area encompasses the regions of the Illawarra, Shoalhaven, Eurobodalla, Sapphire Coast, Southern Highlands, Southern Tablelands, NSW Snowfields, Riverina, Murrumbidgee and the entire ACT.

Pathways available with CCGPT General and rural pathways. RACGP and ACRRM endpoints.

The CCCGPT region boasts some diverse landscapes, from the northernmost border the Illawarra, which fringes on Southern Sydney spanning out toward the picturesque Southern Highlands. Continuing down the spectacular southern coast of NSW through to Milton, Ulladulla, Batemans Bay and onto Bega, the region crosses the Snowy Mountains and the Southern Tablelands. It continues westwards across the Riverina high country to the regional centre of Wagga Wagga, the wineries of Griffith and the outback of Hay and Hillston. The geographic diversity of CCCGPT provides an exceptional mix of rural, alpine, coastal, regional and urban training opportunities catering to each individual registrar’s needs and preferences. The regional centres provide all of the benefits of city living without the traffic, while rural centres provide exciting opportunities to experience practice-based and hospital medicine.

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


Training opportunities with CCCGPT As well as providing quality general practice placements throughout our region, our urban and large regional centres offer additional training opportunities in Aboriginal health, travel medicine, refugee and prison health. Regional centres support advanced training, with procedural terms available in surgery, obstetrics, mental health, anaesthetics, emergency medicine and expedition medicine (based in the ski fields). Most of our rural practices provide opportunities to exercise VMO rights at the local hospital.

From 2012, Applicants for Rural Registrar positions can apply for the Murrumbidgee/ Riverina Advanced Rural Training Pathway. Advanced Rural Training pathway applicants will have the advantage of being able to lock in plans (including locations and posts) for the entirety of their training program in the first few months of joining CCCGPT Academic research and teaching posts are also available through affiliations with the medical faculties of the University of NSW, the Australian National University and the University of Wollongong, which can be undertaken in urban and rural/regional settings.

Points to consider CCCGPT offers rural terms in each of its Local Training Groups but due to the extensive geographic area CCCGPT covers, registrars may have to relocate for the duration of the term.


Visit our website ­—

7 Regional training providers

While CCCGPT does offer rural placements in close proximity to Canberra and Sydney, the popularity of these positions means that some registrars may not obtain their first preference.

The registrar experience CCCGPT understands that each registrar has his or her own unique set of circumstances and these will be taken into account during the application process. CCCGPT appreciates the difficulties that can be associated with juggling parenthood and educational requirements and aims to minimise these by providing registrars with accommodation and babysitting options at educational events. CCCGPT provides financial support to all registrars to assist with training costs.

Contact Illawarra/Shoalhaven/Southern Highlands Dr Saroja Gunasekera (02) 4229 8675 ACT/South East NSW Dr Katrina Anderson (02) 6244 4955 Riverina/Murrumbidgee Ms Fran Trench (02) 6923 5405 Address: 1/185 Morgan Street Wagga Wagga NSW 2650 Telephone: (02) 6923 5400 Fax: (02) 6923 5430 Email: Website:

Registrars can choose their own practice placements throughout their training from a pool of longstanding and accredited teaching practices in the region. Your training experience is only limited by your imagination!

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


GPTVTC General Practice Training Valley to Coast  NSW 

Training opportunities with Valley to Coast

Location General Practice Training Valley to Coast takes in the Hunter, Manning and Central Coast regions of NSW.

Pathways available with Valley to Coast General and rural pathways. RACGP and ACRRM Fellowship endpoints.

Geography and lifestyle From great surfing beaches, extensive national parks and world-renowned vineyards to the cultural and social attractions of Newcastle and Gosford, the region offers a range of choices to suit your lifestyle and professional needs. Sydney is still close enough to be able to make the trip easily, but you will rarely want to go.


Visit our website ­—

Training is practical, relevant, hands-on, challenging and well supported. Valley to Coast runs workshops for registrars at all stages of training – hospital terms, GP terms and exam preparation. The region is small enough to allow all registrars to attend workshops together, encouraging peer support and networking. There is a huge range of hospital terms across two Area Health Services and eight hospitals, including John Hunter Hospital – a major tertiary training hospital. Hospital training in the region offers plenty of hands-on experience in a friendly and supportive environment. For GP terms, Valley to Coast has an extensive network of quality GP teaching practices from urban practices around Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and the Central Coast to small rural towns with GP-run hospitals. All supervisors are supportive and keen to teach. Special interest options are also extensive – for a comprehensive list, please visit its website. The Valley to Coast region also offers advanced training posts in anaesthetics, emergency medicine, obstetrics and mental health.

Points to consider Valley to Coast is ideally situated two hours north of Sydney. With both urban and rural practices, you can undertake all your GP terms within the one region. This is attractive to many registrars and makes the Valley to Coast training positions very popular.

The Valley to Coast GP Club provides vertical integration and networking opportunities with undergraduate medical students, GPs with an interest in teaching, JMOs and other registrars. At those social events, GP speakers talk about their diverse inspiring careers, clinical skills training and a delicious dinner is provided.

The registrar experience Valley to Coast is a very supportive training provider. The Registrar Clinical Encounters in Training (ReCEnT) research program provides a unique view to its registrars through individualised reports mapping their experience compared to the rest of the cohort. From its germination nearly three years ago as a vague idea to better understand what registrars see and do in practice, the project has grown beyond all expectations. Valley to Coast is now collaborating with two other RTPs (Victorian Metropolitan Alliance, or VMA, in metropolitan Melbourne and General Practice Training Tasmania, or GPTT, covering the whole of Tasmania), with a third likely to join in 2012. Together, the RTPs have information on more than15,000 unique clinical encounters, comprising more than 22,000 problems managed; three registrar projects are underway using ReCEnT data; and research links with a range of other educational institutions are being developed. Valley to Coast provides registrars with the Electronic Learning Folder (ELF) and a library of medical textbooks is given to the registrar room at each practice.

Contact Julie Rundle Address: Newbolds Building Cnr Gavey and Frith Streets Mayfield NSW 2304 Postal address: PO Box 573 Hunter Region Mail Centre NSW 2310 Telephone: (02) 49686753 Fax: (02) 49600417 Email: Website:

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


GPS GP Synergy  NSW 

Location The GP Synergy training region extends across Sydney as well as the New England/North-West region of NSW, including towns such as Armidale, Tamworth and Moree.

Pathways available with GP Synergy

university town of Armidale, to small country towns in prosperous agricultural shires. The area is well serviced by regular flights to Sydney, and in some areas, the Gold Coast. GP Synergy’s Sydney training region includes metropolitan and outer metropolitan areas, and extends from Brooklyn in the north to Picton in the south.

Training opportunities with GP Synergy

General and rural pathways. RACGP and ACRRM Fellowship endpoints.

GP Synergy is one of Australia’s largest training providers and offers training experiences across Sydney and northern NSW.

Registrars in both pathways benefit from a rigorously developed and evaluated education program, comprehensive exam preparation series and mentoring by dedicated and experienced GP supervisors.

In northern NSW, the GP Synergy New England/ Northwest training region offers the full range of rural practice experiences from large regional centres, like Tamworth, and the picturesque

GP Synergy has close ties with local hospitals, universities and Divisions of General Practice and offers an extensive range of training posts. Registrars can pursue a range of special

Geography and lifestyle

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


interests including (and not limited to): paediatrics sexual health dermatology Aboriginal health antenatal shared care gynaecology mental health anaesthetics surgery emergency medicine academic research medical education.

• • • • • • • • • • • •

Points to consider Some 98 per cent of surveyed GP Synergy registrars in community terms in 2011 were either highly satisfied or satisfied with the quality of educational content, presenters, suitability and diversity of GP Synergy’s educational workshops. The majority (98%) of surveyed GP Synergy registrars in community terms in 2011 were also either highly satisfied or satisfied with their


Visit our website ­—

access to and quality of the in-practice supervision teaching and advice they received. GP Synergy registrars have received RACGP awards for exam result excellence in twice in as many years. In addition to the delivery of high standard education and in-practice supervision, GP Synergy supports its registrars, particularly during rural training, with a dedicated registrar support officer and rural financial support scheme.

The registrar experience GP Synergy’s reputation for excellence stems from its commitment to quality general education and in-practice supervision, demonstrated through registrar satisfaction and fellowship achievements.

Contact Kate Froggatt Address: First Floor, 36-42 Chippen St Chippendale NSW 2008 Telephone: (02) 9818 4433 (Sydney Central Office) (02) 9756 5711 (Sydney South/SouthWest Office) (02) 6752 7354 (Moree Office) (02) 6776 6225 (Armidale Office) Email: Website:

NCGPT North Coast GP Training  NSW 

Location North Coast GP Training (NCGPT) stretches from Port Macquarie in the south to the Queensland border in the north and west to the Great Dividing Range. The NCGPT head office is situated in Ballina just south of Byron Bay.

The combination of cultural and physical appeal has made the North Coast one of the State’s fastest growing regions. It is serviced by airports in Port Macquarie, Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Ballina/Byron Bay and Lismore, with international airports at Coolangatta and Brisbane. Many people move to this region for a more relaxed way of life within a reasonable distance of Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Training opportunities with NCGPT Training opportunities include:

• Advanced rural skills and procedural training

Pathways available with NCGPT General and rural pathways. RACGP and ACRRM Fellowship endpoints.

in a variety of different disciplines, including mental health, surgery, emergency medicine, anaesthetics and obstetrics and gynaecology.

Geography and lifestyle

• Aboriginal health training in multiple locations

The North Coast region is blessed with clean, white beaches and a stunning hinterland of pristine rainforests, waterfalls and mountain valleys. The region is renowned for its great surfing and for its exuberant identity, performing arts, crafts and leisure activities.

across the North Coast.

• Training practices that have special areas of

interest, including adolescent health, sports medicine, women’s health, integrative medicine, sexual health, paediatrics and infectious diseases.

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


• Comprehensive rural orientation for all

The registrar experience

• Academic and research posts. • Access to clinical training grants to participate

NCGPT holds regular regional educational and social events for registrars. All teaching is face to face in the three training nodes of Ballina, Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie. This fosters friendships and teamwork while establishing a network of contacts and mentors. More than 75 per cent of NCGPT registrars remain in the region after finishing their training.

• The NCGPT medical educators are

Contact NCGPT for an information kit or visit the website to view its electronic brochure and hear what registrars say about their NCGPT experience.

registrars with targeted emergency training skills for VMO registrars who are on call and have admitting rights to small hospitals.

in courses, such as EMST, advanced paediatric and obstetric life support, emergency, pre-hospital life support, sexual health and family planning.

renowned for their dedication, broad clinical experience and expertise in individual and small group work. The team is also recognised as a national leader in doctors’ wellbeing and the medical humanities.

Points to consider NCGPT employs a full-time registrar support officer who assists registrars with their special needs including their move into general practice and the region. The NCGPT community has won a number of recent awards including the GPET 2011 Medical Educator of the Year, GPET 2011 RTP Innovation Award, the GPET 2010 Supervisor of the Year, the 2009 RACGP National Rural Registrar of the Year and the 2008 GPET/ Medical Observer GP Registrar of the Year. NCGPT was also the inaugural winner of the GPET Training Provider of the Year Award.


Visit our website ­—

Contact Sue Sladden Registrar Support Officer Postal address: PO Box 1497 Ballina NSW 2478 Telephone: (02) 6681 5711 Fax: (02) 6681 5722 Email: Website:


YOU ASK AND WE ANSWER. INSTANTLY. Whether you’ve applied for one of our Medical and Health roles or are considering joining the Australian Defence Force (ADF), we thought you’d be interested in our upcoming live interactive broadcasts. This is your chance to ask and gain first hand information from current officers in the field about their job, life in the ADF and more.

REGISTER TODAY Broadcasts will be held on a regular basis. To participate, register your details at

BROADCAST WEBSITE The broadcast website will allow you to participate in upcoming broadcasts, watch replays, read the latest articles and learn more about jobs in the Navy, Army and Air Force, including: Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Radiography, Psychology, Pharmacy, Environmental Health, Medical/Research Science, Laboratory and Physiotherapy.


WW WentWest  NSW 

Pathways available with WentWest General pathway. RACGP Fellowship endpoint.

Geography and lifestyle Location The WentWest training region extends from Carlingford in the east to Mount Victoria in the west and from Merrylands in the south up to Wisemans Ferry and Colo Heights in the north. This region also includes a large outer metropolitan area, which extends from the north around to the west and into the Blue Mountains. Covering the full spectrum of general practice education and support, WentWest offers the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program and Prevocational General Practice Placements Program (PGPPP) to registrars in the Western Sydney region. It is now the Medicare Local for Western Sydney, providing training, services and support to general practice and allied health professionals in the Western Sydney and Hawkesbury-Hills areas. 96

Visit our website ­—

Geographically, the region includes many contrasts from the urbanised plains of the Sydney Basin to the scenic river gorges, hills and bushland of the Blue Mountains. The area is also one of great demographic, cultural and socio-economic diversity, and offers world-class shopping facilities and restaurants and a wide range of recreational activities and venues.

Training opportunities with WentWest WentWest offers GP registrars a wealth of training resources including:

• cooperative, regionalised educational programs for all levels of training

• a high population-to-doctor ratio, ensuring

diverse clinical experience and patient exposure while working in training practices

• opportunities to become involved in research and innovation

7 Regional training providers

additional resources and training opportunities available as the Western Sydney Medicare Local. The WentWest program has been developed locally to take advantage of diverse, high-quality resources. This includes working with leading teaching hospitals in the area, including Westmead, Blacktown, Nepean and Auburn Hospitals. Registrars can also undertake an academic term at the University of Sydney’s Department of General Practice, Sydney Medical School – Western, with Professor Tim Usherwood. Registrars have the opportunity to undertake extended skills posts as an optional component of their training, allowing them to focus on a particular area of interest relevant to general practice. Registrars can choose from areas such as Aboriginal health, paediatrics and palliative care with further information available on the WentWest website.

Points to consider With approximately 70 per cent of our practices in outer metropolitan areas, registrars can satisfy their training pathway obligation by remaining in the WentWest area for the entire duration of their training.

The registrar experience The WentWest office in Blacktown has a variety of educational resources, such as textbooks, journals, DVDs, and online resources, that registrars can use during their training. As the Western Sydney Medicare Local, registrars also have access to a wide range of quality assurance and continuing professional development

events, including CPR courses, MD3 and Best Practice. This allows registrars to broaden their knowledge and skills and also meet with experienced GPs and allied health professionals. Registrars in GPT3 can select a practice that best suits their interests and preferred style, which may also be a permanent option after completing the RACGP Fellowship.

Contact Georgina van de Water Address: Level 1, 85 Flushcombe Rd Blacktown NSW 2148 Telephone: (02) 8811 7100 Fax: (02) 9622 3448 Email: Website:

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice



Bogong Regional Training Network  NSW  VIC 

Visit Victoria’s premier wine growing areas, including the famous Rutherglen vineyards, Milawa gourmet region and the distinctive cool climate wines of the alpine valleys.

Location Bogong Regional Training Network (Bogong) incorporates the Goulburn Valley, North-East Victoria and the Albury Wodonga region.

Pathways available with Bogong General and rural pathways. RACGP and ACRRM Fellowship endpoints.

Geography and lifestyle The Bogong region is family-friendly, with good schools, universities and TAFE colleges. Larger regional centres offer quality shopping, dining, cultural and professional services. Ski over the Alps in winter and enjoy a breathtaking array of adventure activities and water sports along the Murray River, lakes and cycling trails year round. 98

Visit our website ­—

Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra are easily accessible by air, road and rail links.

Training opportunities with Bogong Bogong offers registrars a variety of individualised, flexible training programs, with the option of full-time or part-time attendance. Registrars can attain FRACGP, FACRRM and FARGP qualifications and extend training in areas of special interest, including advanced rural skills and extended skills posts in: Aboriginal health academic posts alpine sports medicine anaesthetics emergency medicine mental health obstetrics remote medicine small town general practice.

• • • • • • • • •

7 Regional training providers

Points to consider Registrars can complete their whole GP training, including hospital terms and advanced training, within the Bogong region. The area is well served by major regional hospitals, small rural health services and an excellent cohort of committed and experienced GP supervisors. Bogong has a comprehensive practice matching process. Placements are based on interviews, the preferences of each registrar and the prospective practice.

Contact Jo Hamilton Address: 115 Hume Street Wodonga VIC 3690 Postal address: PO Box 165 Wodonga VIC 3689 Telephone: (02) 6057 8600 Fax: (02) 6024 7817 Email: Website:

The registrar experience Bogong GP registrars train as a peer group and attend education release sessions throughout training. These workshops are held at beautiful places across the Bogong region. Bogong regularly organises a family-friendly sponsored social event afterwards.

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice



Beyond Medical Education  NSW  VIC 

Geography and lifestyle

Location Beyond Medical Education (BME) offers rural and regional GP training in western and central NSW and north-western Victoria. Starting in Victoria the region extends from the northwestern fringes of Melbourne along the Western Highway to the border with South Australia. The Hume Highway forms the eastern boundary and the northern limits include Echuca and Mildura. In NSW the region extends from Bourke and Walgett in the north to Balranald in the south and from Lithgow in the east to Broken Hill in the west.

Pathways available with BME General and rural pathways. RACGP and ACRRM Fellowship endpoints.

BME delivers training over a large geographical region offering a broad range of clinical and lifestyle experiences. Training offers a range of experiences from remote areas such as Walgett and Broken Hill and lively country towns such as Mildura and Orange through to large regional centres such as Bendigo and Ballarat. You can choose a location that suits your lifestyle from vigorous outdoor activities though to fine dining.

Training opportunities with BME Experience life as a GP in a vibrant regional city, an outback community or take to the skies with the Royal Flying Doctor Service. BME offers a range of experiences including:

• small practices in small country towns • large practices in regional centres • practices providing opportunities to care

for patients in the local GP-managed hospital. Hospital training is available in Ballarat, Bendigo, Echuca, Mildura and Horsham in Victoria and Orange, Bathurst, Dubbo and Broken Hill Base Hospitals in NSW. Aboriginal health training posts are available in all areas of the BME region.


Visit our website ­—

7 Regional training providers

Points to consider As part of its commitment to improving access to primary health care across the region, BME requires all registrars to complete at least a sixmonth term in the defined outer rural areas of the BME region. Registrars are provided with financial support to undertake this term. The training available in these areas is challenging, high quality and a great learning opportunity.

The registrar experience BME offers registrars a full range of services to support their training, including the ability to choose practice placements, financial support, educational releases and workshops. There is also an emphasis on self-care for registrars and social gatherings.

Contact: Cecilia Hunt Acting Senior Regional Program Coordinator Address: Building E18 Charles Sturt University Panorama Avenue Bathurst NSW 2795 Telephone: (02) 6334 4359 NSW (03) 5441 9300 VIC Website:

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice



Victorian Metropolitan Alliance — General Practice Training VIC 

within a diverse socio-economic geographic region that enables registrars to experience the breadth of current general practice. With 127 GPT1, GPT2 and GPT3 practices, 18 Divisions of General Practice and many other organisations, training with the VMA offers substantial networking, professional support and engagement opportunities.

Location Victorian Metropolitan Alliance (VMA) takes in Melbourne, Greater Melbourne and the Bellarine and Mornington Peninsulas.

Pathways available with VMA General and rural pathways. RACGP Fellowship endpoints.

Other innovative features with VMA include a range of geographical and clinical pilot programs. Registrars with an academic penchant are well catered for through educational partners, the University of Melbourne and Monash University. Several other program initiatives, including the recent introduction of an obstetrics pilot, are also available.

Geography and lifestyle

Training opportunities with VMA

VMA is positioned around Port Phillip Bay, extending from the Bellarine Peninsula through the Melbourne metropolitan region to the Mornington Peninsula. Major centres include Melbourne, Frankston and Geelong.

The VMA offers a wide range of GP terms to suit all needs. Clinical GP placements located in Greater Melbourne, and the Mornington and Bellarine Peninsulas cover the gamut of general practice.

VMA offers a diverse socio-economic geographic training environment. As one of the largest training providers, the VMA can offer a highly innovative and supportive program

Many extended skills terms are available including: sexual health and family planning palliative care addiction medicine


Visit our website ­—

• • •

7 Regional training providers

• ENT placements • rorensic medicine • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

The registrar experience

health clinics academic terms.

There are multiple accredited placements available for registrars to undertake the DRANZCOG (Obstetrics and Gynaecology Diploma). The VMA also offers substantial subsidies to registrars who wish to obtain their Diploma of Child Health through Westmead Hospital. Education and training outside of practices is delivered at the office in Hawthorn. Fortnightly and monthly seminars are held for GPT1 and GPT2 registrars respectively. GPT3 and GPT4 registrars attend one professional development day per term. In addition, all registrars are required to attend four full days of weekend workshops.

Points to consider The general pathway now offers even more flexibility. In 2009 the government announced changes to the return of service obligations for registrars. General pathway registrars are now able to complete 12 months of their return of service obligation in outer metropolitan locations, rural locations, Aboriginal health services or a combination of these.

At the VMA, registrars can expect a high quality and engaging program with the opportunity to select placements based on personal choice. Other benefits include sponsored conferences and social gatherings, professional development allowances, sponsored Advanced Life Support and CPR courses, subsidised internet, a comprehensive library with paper, video and electronic resources and outstanding medical education and administrative support.

Contact Sharon Butler Operations Manager Address: 15 Cato Street, Hawthorn VIC 3122 Telephone: (03) 9822 1100 Mobile: 0438 027 028 Fax: (03) 9822 9011 Email: Website:

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice



Southern GP Training VIC   SA 

on the coast and enjoy all the challenges of rural health, Southern GP Training is for you.

Location Southern GP Training, formed through the merger of Greater Green Triangle and getGP in 2010, delivers general practice training across the southern part of Victoria, excluding metropolitan Melbourne. It includes Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula, the Mornington Peninsula, Gippsland, the south-west region of Victoria, and the south-east region of South Australia.

Pathways available with Southern GP Training General and rural pathways. RACGP and ACRRM Fellowship endpoints.

Geography and lifestyle Southern GP Training is based around Victoria and South Australia’s scenic and enticing coastline and hinterland. So if you want to live 104

Visit our website ­—

The region offers training locations ranging from small rural towns to larger regional centres, from scenic high country practices to locations along the beautiful coastline. The region is home to numerous iconic destinations, including the world-famous Twelve Apostles, the Shipwreck Coast, the natural beauty of the Grampians, Phillip Island and its famous penguin parade, Wilsons Promontory, the southernmost point of mainland Australia, and the Gippsland Lakes. Melbourne is easily accessible from most parts of the region.

Training opportunities with Southern GP Training Southern GP Training provides innovative training opportunities with the flexibility to tailor individual programs to meet the learning needs and interests of each registrar. There is a diverse range of training placements, from hospital terms in larger regional centres

7 Regional training providers

to general practice in more rural and remote locations. The addition of the Mornington Peninsula and Bellarine Peninsula from 2011 adds further to this diversity. There are a growing number of training positions for additional skills and experience in a range of disciplines including: anaesthetics surgery obstetrics and gynaecology small town general practice community psychiatry. emergency medicine. palliative care. Aboriginal health adolescent health dermatology academic medicine.

• • • • • • • • • • •

Many smaller town placements also include VMO opportunities in associated hospitals or sessional work in Aboriginal Medical Services. Registrars are also able to pursue practice- based obstetrics and community paediatrics during their training. All training posts are accredited (or in the process of being accredited) with both the RACGP and ACRRM, allowing registrars to meet the requirements of fellowship for each college. Generous support is provided for educational opportunities and external courses.

Points to consider Registrars will need to relocate, although some commute back to Melbourne or Adelaide to family or locum work. Southern GP Training is flexible when dealing with your circumstances.

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


In Gippsland, the program includes medical practice placements located in East Gippsland where registrars spend at least one term. General pathway placements on the Mornington and Bellarine Peninsulas provide options on the metropolitan fringe with a regional focus.

The registrar experience Southern GP Training offers an innovative and comprehensive medical education program with access to other resources including GPRime (an online learning planner and communication tool), a comprehensive library with a broad range of resources, and an extensive language and communication skills assessment and training program. All of Southern GP Training services are supported by a professional and friendly administration.


Visit our website ­—

Contact Western region: Angela Beilby Registrar Support Officer Address: Level 1, 49 Kepler St Warrnambool VIC 3280 Telephone: (03) 5562 0051 Fax: (03) 5560 5581 Email: Website: Eastern region: Linda Kruger Regional Development Manager Suite B2, Green Inc. Building 50 Northways Road Churchill VIC 3842 Telephone: (03) 5132 3100 Fax: (03) 5132 3133 Email: Website:


7 Regional training providers

Adelaide to Outback GP Training Program  SA 

have medical students, junior doctors and registrars, providing rich opportunities for vertical integration of in-practice teaching.

Location AOGP maintains a large region, which provides an extensive array of training opportunities: from remote practice in the north and west of the state, to training in a wide variety of rural regions, through to outer-metropolitan and urban general practice. The AOGP region covers a large proportion of metropolitan and rural South Australia. In metropolitan Adelaide, AOGP includes the area from the city north, east, west and inner south. The region includes areas of both high and low socio-economic status, non-Englishspeaking populations, and GP shortage. The scope of practice is diverse and includes subspecialties in clinical and procedural medicine, opportunities for interdisciplinary team care, and working with specific demographic groups. Some of AOGP’s teaching practices concurrently

The rural AOGP region follows Highway One north and west. It includes the Yorke Peninsula, Mid North, Flinders and Far North, and Eyre Peninsula. The Adelaide Hills, Murray Mallee, and Southern Region are shared with Sturt Fleurieu GP Training. AOGP also shares a rural training post with Northern Territory General Practice Education (NTGPE) in Alice Springs. The rural AOGP region ranges from inner rural suburbs to popular tourist locations, to industrial and agricultural regions. The rural region includes practices that are as close as two hours’ drive from Adelaide, to those that range from three to seven hours’ drive. Maps illustrating AOGP’s region coverage are online at posts

Pathways available with AOGP General and rural pathways. RACGP and ACRRM Fellowship endpoints.

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


Geography and lifestyle The AOGP region has a Mediterranean climate with affordable housing, sporting and cultural events, and excellent food and wine. The areas are diverse, ranging from small town rural locations to large regional centres and commutable distances. Beaches, riesling trails, and seafood and cultural experiences are available centrally and in rural locations.

Training opportunities with AOGP AOGP offers extended skills posts in: academic general practice Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health grief and palliative care Royal Flying Doctor Service community health prison service mental health drug and alcohol services

• • • • • • • •


Visit our website ­—

• aviation medicine • transcultural health • sports medicine • rural locum services. There is also flexibility in the program for alternative placements in areas of interest to be arranged within the training framework. Advanced rural skills training posts (ARSTs) are available in obstetrics, anaesthetics, surgery, paediatrics, palliative care and small town areas.

Points to consider AOGP requires registrars to be active partners throughout their training program. AOGP will ensure registrars have the maximum opportunity to become the general practitioner they aspire to be.

7 Regional training providers

AOGP works to three key principles in the delivery of its training program — customised, personalised and specialised. The AOGP training program is best described as: flexible and registrar-directed innovative in the delivery of education family friendly, responsive to key stakeholders such as registrars, supervisors/trainers, colleges and others in the region.

• • • •

All registrars in community placements are offered the opportunity to be involved in the allocation of practices and selection of areas they would like to work in.

The registrar experience AOGP offers a supported learning environment that includes alternate week small group learning and one to three-day education releases. Child-care is available and part-time registrars are paid to attend the same amount of external teaching as full-time registrars. The Education Weekend brings together registrars and supervisors for two days with tutorials, practical procedures and social events.

Self-care remains an important part of the AOGP program, involving on-site group sessions with psychologists, as well as the opportunity for individual, funded, confidential sessions that registrars can organise for themselves. AOGP offers a component of education and self-directed learning through online learning and ensures access to information technology.

Contact Jane Jones Address: Lower Level 183 Melbourne Street North Adelaide SA 5006 Telephone: (08) 8366 3100 Fax: (08) 8361 8967 Email: Website:

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


Let Erik the e-Rep

service your sample cupboard Visit and login with the Physician password ‘healthy’ to request samples.

Aspen Australia is a group of companies including Aspen Pharmacare Australia Pty Ltd (ABN 51 096 236 985) 34-36 Chandos Street St Leonards NSW 2065 Tel. +61 2 8436 8300 Email.


Sturt Fleurieu General Practice Education and Training Training opportunities with Sturt Fleurieu


Sturt Fleurieu’s region provides access to high quality teaching practices ranging from large multidisciplinary clinics to smaller sized practices all within reasonable proximity to Adelaide or significant rural towns. These practices provide a range of challenging and interesting medical issues. Registrars will work closely with expert practitioners.

Location Sturt Fleurieu covers Adelaide’s southern suburbs, the Adelaide Hills and extends into the Barossa Valley, the Murray Mallee, the Fleurieu Peninsula, the Riverland and the south-east of South Australia.

Pathways available with Sturt Fleurieu General and rural pathways. RACGP and ACRRM Fellowship endpoints.

Geography and lifestyle From the picturesque villages of the Adelaide Hills to the wine and food culture of the Barossa Valley, from the rolling farmlands of the Riverland and Murray Mallee to the pristine beaches of the Fleurieu Peninsula and the Limestone Coast, Sturt Fleurieu can enrich the training experience with some unforgettable lifestyle experiences. 112

Visit our website ­—

We provide a quality, “in-house” educational central and mini-release program for GPT1 and GPT2 or equivalent registrars and actively encourage the development of procedural skills. Our region is broken up into seven areas, each under the supervision of a dedicated regional medical educator. We offer the latest in technology-assisted learning, dedicated teaching times, and provide a supportive and well-structured program format and comprehensive RACGP and ACRRM exam preparation. Our ever-evolving range of training modules gives registrars the opportunity to develop the strongest, broadest medical skills possible. Dermatology skills can be honed through the derm-start workshop program. There are opportunities for advanced rural skills training and academic research, as well as extended skills training in areas such as obstetrics, Aboriginal health, palliative care and paediatrics.

7 Regional training providers

Points to consider Sturt Fleurieu offers a wide range of opportunities for training in a program that combines innovative teaching and training methods, high standards of practice within a friendly, collegiate atmosphere. GP supervisors at the various practices are an integral part of the excellent educational delivery to registrars training with Sturt Fleurieu.

The registrar experience Accredited Basic and Advanced Life Support Training using cutting edge computer simulation has been pioneered by Sturt Fleurieu and now forms an important link for registrars with Sturt Fleurieu medical education staff. gp-start is a structured learning package that links major clinical topics to key clinical activities and contains up-to-date background readings on the core topics.

gp-advanced introduces registrars to the RACGP exam, addresses different clinical domains and guides registrars on how to develop their own questions and answers. There are also facilitated case discussion sessions.

Contact Alison Day Manager Program Integration or Dr Peter Clements Director of Medical Education Address: 18 Alfred Place, Strathalbyn SA 5255 Website:

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice



Central and Southern Queensland Training Consortium QLD

change, or a sea change or those who enjoy the busy inner-city metropolitan lifestyle of Brisbane.

Location Central and Southern Queensland Training Consortium’s (CSQTC’s) training region covers rural and metropolitan areas in central and southern Queensland from Coolangatta to Rockhampton, stretching west to the SA border. We have a head office located in Brisbane, with district offices in Toowoomba and Rockhampton.

Pathways available with CSQTC

Training opportunities with CSQTC CSQTC offers registrars high quality training opportunities through: more than 20 hospitals in the region with a variety of hospital, extended skills, academic and advanced rural skills training posts

• experienced and committed accredited

training practices for GP placements in rural, metropolitan and outer metropolitan locations and in Aboriginal medical services

• exciting and relevant GP-focused

General and rural pathways. RACGP and ACRRM Fellowship endpoints.

educational workshops during all stages of training, including the hospital-based training year

Geography and lifestyle

• support services for registrars with specific

The vast area covered by CSQTC presents registrars with a diverse choice of placements, which caters for those looking for a tree 114

Visit our website ­—

need including Queensland Health rural generalist trainees, ADF, academic and part-time registrars.

7 Regional training providers

• Unique placement process gives

Points to consider While CSQTC offers the substantial benefits of being a large training provider, it also offers a personalised, registrar-focused program that is responsive to the changing needs of registrars as individuals.

registrars autonomy in choosing which GP term training practices they apply for while allowing practices to select registrars based on merit.

• CSQTC supports registrars through access

to high calibre medical educators, including senior medical educators, who specialise in rural training as well as responsive administrative staff.

• Medical educators based in its training

districts and nodes provide local support and small group educational sessions using local health professionals and services.

• A hospital liaison officer advises and

supports registrars in hospital placements and two registrar liaison officers (rural and metro) act as advocates for registrars by providing a link between CSQTC and GPRA.

• A rollout in 2012 of GPePortfolio

– an online learning and teaching resource.

The registrar experience

• The large number of registrars opens the

way for valuable collaborative learning and networking opportunities, combining learning with making new friends and colleagues.

CSQTC Contact Julie Ball Location: 467 Enoggera Road Alderley QLD 4051 Postal address: PO Box 83 Alderley QLD 4051 Telephone: (07) 3552 8100 Fax: (07) 3552 8108 Email: Website:

• A mix of centralised and regionalised

education sessions enables registrars to interact with peers and expert presenters.

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice



Queensland Rural Medical Education QLD

QRME provides an exceptional rural experience and the chance to see some amazing countryside. Registrars can immerse themselves in delightful rural communities or enjoy the surrounds of regional cities and towns. While the rural lifestyle is more relaxed than in the city, the scope of practice is often broader and more challenging, leading to great learning opportunities.

Training opportunities with QRME Location Queensland Rural Medical Education (QRME) covers an area that extends from Rockhampton in central Queensland to the NSW border and west to the South Australian border, but does not include Brisbane or the Sunshine Coast. QRME operates in RA2-5 areas.

Pathways available with QRME Rural pathway for Australian medical graduates and international medical graduate registrars. Australian Defence Force places for both rural and general pathway registrars. RACGP and ACRRM Fellowship endpoints. QRME’s region is large with an abundance of learning opportunities and its staff pride themselves on being attentive and helpful to all registrars and their families. 116

Visit our website ­—

QRME offers regional, rural and remote training opportunities in general practice and regional hospital settings. The general practice training program is GP registrar focused, preparing GP registrars for a range of situations with an emphasis on rural medicine. QRME is dedicated to offering a training program encompassing high standards and innovation in a friendly and professional atmosphere. Many of QRME’s registrars are overseastrained. However, it also recognise the training needs of Queensland Health Rural Scholarship Scheme participants and Queensland Health Rural Generalists. Each registrar is assigned a QRME medical educator who is their training advisor. QRME administrative staff, medical director and registrar liaison officers are available to assist and advise. QRME can accommodate a registrar’s special interest through a six or 12-month term. As well as the traditional disciplines like paediatrics,

7 Regional training providers

surgery, psychiatry/mental health, internal medicine, public health, anaesthetics, obstetrics and gynaecology, emergency medicine and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, QRME offers extended and advanced skills in expeditionary medicine, medical education and skin cancer medicine and advanced skills in population health. In addition to the registrar Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program, QRME also offers the Queensland Rural Medical Longlook Program (QRMLP), a placement program for third and fourth year medical students from Griffith University and the University of Queenland. The prevoctional General Practice Placements Program (PGPPP) offers an opportunity for postgraduate (PGY) 1,2 and 3 doctors to gain exposure to rural and remote practice over a 10-12 week period, with access to high quality training in procedural and other practice skills. QRME has PGPPP placements throughout the region.

The registrar experience QRME offers three five-day workshops during registrar’s two years in general practice training. The workshops promote a sense of camaraderie between registrars, reflecting that found among rural GPs in Queensland. Several Rural Medicine Advanced seminars are also conducted. In addition, registrars will undertake some online modules.

QRME can provide financial assistance for professional development, equipment and relocation expenses. QRME tailors training programs to individual needs, such as part-time, hospital-based and special interest training.

Contact Moira Pearl QRME offices -—Toowoomba and Bundaberg Email: Website: Toowoomba Address: 303 Margaret Street, Toowoomba Qld 4350 Postal Address: P.O. Box 2076, Toowoomba Qld 4350 Telephone: 07 4638 7999 Fax: 07 4638 7982 Bundaberg Address: 277A Bourbong Street, Bundaberg Qld 4670 Postal Address: P.O. Box 1863, Bundaberg Qld 4670 Phone: 07 4151 4777 Fax: 07 4152 8429

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice



Tropical Medical Training QLD

Townsville Australia’s largest tropical city Major Hospital Beach within easy reach Historic outback towns

• • • •

Cairns One of the most popular tourist destination Two World Heritage natural environments - The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park - Wet Tropics ancient rainforests The Atherton Tablelands

• • • Location Tropical Medical Training (TMT) is north Queensland’s regional training provider for general practice.

Pathways available with Tropical Medical Training Rural pathway, ACRRM and RACGP endpoint.

Geography and lifestyle Covering two-thirds of Queensland, TMT encompasses enormous geographical and economically diverse areas. For those seeking a relaxed lifestyle in a beautiful part of Australia, the opportunities are endless but be warned — ­ those who venture north rarely leave. From the Torres Strait Islands, to lush tropical rainforests and the magic of the outback, TMT covers it all. 118

Visit our website ­—

Mackay Gateway to the Whitsundays Relaxed, tropical lifestyle Spectacular mountain regions

• • •

Mount Isa

• Progressive mining city • Lawn Hill Gorge • The Royal Flying Doctor Centre Thursday Island Administrative heart of the Torres Strait Diverse mix of cultures Fishing and aquaculture

• • •

Training opportunities with Tropical Medical Training TMT has a large number of procedural and practical-based skills training opportunities, enhanced training with extended skills posts and advanced rural skills posts (ARSPs) in primary care, palliative care, oncology, anaesthetics and obstetrics.

7 Regional training providers

There are nine Indigenous health training opportunities in TMT’s region. If you are seeking further adventure in your medicine, aviation or expedition medicine could be what you are looking for in your training! TMT also runs sexual heath and diabetes seminars. TMT is heavily involved in the Prevocational General Practice Placements Program (PGPPP) with positions available in Townsville and on Thursday Island.

The registrar experience Medical educators are based in regions to ensure local support. Training workshops are held in different TMT regions each term.

for GP registrars to increase their awareness of Indigenous cultures. Special events include a health workshop and the Laura Festival. The biannual Rural Retreat is the initiative of past GP registrars and is designed for GP registrars in rural posts to come together with the families for a weekend to relax and reconnect.

Contact Maria-Theresa Lehmann Telephone: 07 4729 5000 Website:

TMT is committed to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health providing opportunities Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


WAGPET Western Australian General Practice Education and Training WA 

Training opportunities with WAGPET For doctors in training WAGPET offers prevocational programs for doctors in training (DITs) which provide an opportunity to experience general practice before choosing a specialty. The Prevocational General Practice Placements Program (PGPPP) allows DITs to participate in a general practice placement experience during one or more hospital rotations.

Location Western Australian General Practice Education and Training (WAGPET) is the sole GP training provider in Western Australia.

Pathways available with WAGPET General and rural pathways. RACGP and ACRRM Fellowship endpoints.

Geography and lifestyle From awe-inspiring landscapes and unique communities in the north and east, to gentle forests and wine regions in the south; from the urban buzz of Perth and Fremantle to pristine beaches, coastal communities and farming heartlands, Western Australia has something for everyone.

DITs can undertake a dedicated general practice placement or composite post placement which incorporates placement in a general practice with another hospital specialty. Some popular PGPPP experiences are GP and surgery in Albany, GP and pediatrics in Geraldton and GP and obstetrics in Perth. WAGPETs prevocational program provides a well-supervised and supported general practice experience. For GP registrars WAGPET offers a wide range of lifestyle and training opportunities in urban, rural and remote settings throughout Western Australia.

• In urban areas, GP registrars experience

consultation in a community practice setting.

• In rural towns, GP registrars provide care across the hospital and community setting.


Visit our website ­—

7 Regional training providers

• In remote areas, GP registrars have the

opportunity to work in remote Aboriginal Community Controlled Clinics. Extended skills placements are varied and can include: addiction medicine academic research drug and alcohol medicine family planning general Practice Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health obstetrics and gynecology occupational health paediatrics psychiatry palliative care sports medicine travel medicine.

• • • • • • • • • • • • •

Advanced rural skills training placements available can include: anaesthetics emergency medicine Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health obstetrics palliative care Royal Flying Doctors Service small town general practice.

• • • • • • •

WAGPET is committed to providing the highest quality of education for GP registrars. Western Australia is divided into ten regions and GP registrar education is provided locally in addition to the central full-day workshops held in Perth. Regional education sessions offer regionally specific education provided by local

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


General Practice Training in Indigenous Health Victoria

It is important It is challenging It is inspiring

Is it for YOU?

What are you doing about Indigenous Health? Indigenous health is a national priority, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians still dying years earlier than other Australians and suffering from a wide range of preventable diseases and treatable illnesses. As a GP working in Indigenous health, you are likely to make a bigger difference to health outcomes than in any other area of medicine in Australia today! • Practice a holistic approach to primary health care in a cultural context by training at an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHS). • Get an appetite for Indigenous health by negotiating part-time or sessional arrangements whilst doing your GP training. • Experience complex medicine including chronic disease, preventive health care, health promotion and public health management. • Train under inspirational GP Supervisors, who are ACRRM and/or RACGP Fellows with years of experience and in depth knowledge of the clinical status and cultural aspects of the community. • Enjoy complete flexibility with 9-5 daily hours, leave for release sessions, conferences, study and personal life.

Are you interested in Indigenous Health? Contact the GP Education and Training Officer at VACCHO. 5-7 Smith St, Fitzroy VIC 3065 P: (03) 9419 3350 E: W:

Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation

health professionals and allied health service providers. Registrars also have access to online virtual classroom education sessions. Placements at training practices are based on preferences submitted by GP registrars during the annual placement process and for 2012, more than 85 per cent of GP registrars were allocated their first preference. WAGPET offers a high quality individualised service and is happy to provide support for registrars with specific training needs including ADF, academic and part-time registrars. There are only a few rural training opportunities within commuting distance of Perth, which means most GP registrars need to relocate to their rural placements. There are subsidies for rural terms to cover relocation, rental and travel costs. In addition, rural registrars returning

to Perth for education release days have their costs covered. The majority of rural placements have more than one GP registrar in each town, so there is always support nearby. Each region within the state has a registrar liaison officer (RLO) and a regional training advisor. RLOs can provide valuable regional insight for those considering GP training in a particular region of WA. Details of the RLOs are available at To complement this, excellent administrative and clinical support is offered by the staff at WAGPET.

Contact Karen Russell Address: Suite 12, 16 Brodie Hall Drive, Technology Park, Bentley WA 6102 Telephone: (08) 9473 8200 Fax: (08) 9472 4686 Email: Website:


Visit our website ­—


7 Regional training providers

General Practice Training Tasmania TAS 

Relatively short distances between major centres mean that education, recreation, shopping and commercial services are all within easy reach.

Training opportunities with GPTT GPTT delivers a broad, strong educational program and is known for the following areas of special educational interest and expertise: ­ Innovative and • Expedition medicine —

Location General Practice Training Tasmania (GPTT) covers the whole State of Tasmania.

Pathways available with GPTT Rural pathway. RACGP and ACRRM Fellowship endpoints.

Geography and lifestyle Just one hour from Melbourne by plane, Tasmania is a land apart, a place of wilderness and beautiful landscapes, pristine beaches and welcoming people. With a wonderful relaxed lifestyle in a temperate climate, Tasmania offers affordable housing along with a culture rich in the arts, music, theatre and sport.

exciting emergency training in wilderness locations in Tasmania combined with clinical training in emergency and travel medicine.

• Integrated communication skills training —

Communication, consulting and counselling skills training is a key feature of the Tasmanian program.

• Highly regarded suite of practical skills

workshops — Practical skills development with an emphasis on relevance to general practice: - STITCH – plastic surgery and trauma surgical skills in general practice - emergencies in general practice – ALS and emergency medicine training - musculoskeletal medicine - women’s health - teaching skills or GP registrars.

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


• Research opportunities ­—This post works particularly well in Tasmania because GPTT has very strong links with the University of Tasmania and the Menzies Research Institute.

• Variety of extended special skills posts and

clinical attachments: - palliative care - remote medicine (Antarctica and Macquarie Island) - population health - emergency medicine - drug and alcohol - Aboriginal health.

The registrar experience GPTT offers a supportive learning environment that includes monthly small group learning meetings, workshops held in beautiful locations around the state and various social opportunities. A scholarship fund is also paid twice a year which helps registrars to broaden the range of their educational experiences and undertake research. There is also financial support for travel and accommodation for attending workshops and contributions towards reimbursements for other training courses. A rental subsidy and rural relocation allowance are also available (conditions apply).

Current RLO Dr Jennie Robinson


Visit our website ­—

Contact Robyn Rose Education Manager Address: 206 New Town Road New Town Tas 7008 Telephone: (03) 6278 1551 Fax: (03) 6228 7452 Email: Website:


7 Regional training providers

Northern Territory General Practice Education  NT 

oriented community only a two-hour commercial flight to all destinations nationally. Registrars in the tropical Top End enjoy tropical weather around 30 degrees throughout the year with 50-80 per cent humidity. Darwin, the Northern Territory’s capital city, has become a sophisticated multicultural hub for Australia’s liaison with South-East Asia and registrars enjoy international getaways as readily as interstate travel.

Location Northern Territory General Practice Education (NTGPE) is the sole GP training provider in the Northern Territory with regional offices in Darwin, Alice Springs and Katherine.

Pathways available with NTGPE General and rural pathways. RACGP, ACRRM and FARGP Fellowship endpoints.

Geography and lifestyle Registrars have the opportunity to live in the tropical Top End or in Central Australia and Barkly regions for those afraid of crocodiles! Registrars in Central Australia enjoy weather that ranges from an average 35 degrees in summer to 15 degrees in winter and rarely any humidity. The regional centre of Central Australia, Alice Springs, is a busy tourism-

More adventurous registrars train in remote Aboriginal communities throughout the Northern Territory. These registrars take home rich personal experiences.

Training opportunities with NTGPE Registrars are typically spoiled for training location type and choice. Registrars are exposed to a broad range of procedural and other practical practice-based skills in simulated and real clinical situations. NTGPE’s medical and cultural education facilitators are highly experienced. The NTGPE training suite includes: fortnightly regional small group learning sessions teleconferences with registrars and trainers GP Start program Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health orientation and ongoing training

• • • •

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


• training advisor meetings • external clinical teaching visits • two three-day residential conferences. Points to consider The physical and clinical learning environments often push registrars out of their comfort zone, which builds personal and professional confidence. NTGPE provides financial support to registrars who train in RA 4-5 zones, including relocation costs, internet subsidy, rent, educational allowances and professional development subsidies and grants on top of government rural incentives.

The registrar experience As a remote, relatively small RTP, NTGPE takes notice of registrar feedback. NTGPE offers excellent learning opportunities and experience in Aboriginal health with a variety of accredited practices and trainers. The learning environment is supportive with a focus on cultural sensitivity, safety and professional development. Flexible, familyfriendly training acknowledges registrars’ personal and family needs. Professional interests are catered for through special skills and extended skills posts. NTGPE uses innovative modes of training delivery, which gives registrars access to training resources whether in a remote location or mainstream practice. Temporary transfers into and out of the program are broadly supported.


Visit our website ­—

Contact Christine Heatherington-Tait Address: Level 3, Building 1 Yellow Precinct, Charles Darwin University NT 0815 Telephone: (08) 8946 7079 Fax: (08) 8946 7077 Email: Website:


Applying for

general practice training

How to apply for the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program

Refer to the AGPT website for eligibility criteria. Decided that general Applicants will receive an email from GPET practice is your career advising if they are ineligible. choice? Here is what you Suitability assessment need to know about the application process for the and allocation applicants will be invited to participate Australian General Practice Eligible in the assessment and allocation process for Training (AGPT) program. the 2013 AGPT program cohort. This process

What is involved in the AGPT selection process? Selection into the AGPT program is a merit based, competitive and multi-phased process used to determine which applicants are best suited to general practice.

Apply for AGPT Applicants apply online at the AGPT website. Applicants will receive a PDF of their application upon submission and need to send a signed hard copy of this along with required supporting documentation and passport-sized photographs to GPET. Applicants must also supply the contact details of two referees to support their application. This process varies for AMG and IMG applicants. Please refer to the AGPT website for details.

Eligibility determination Applicants are assessed by GPET for eligibility to join the AGPT program and, if eligible, the pathway through which they may train (general or rural) using established eligibility criteria. 130

Visit our website ­—

will include undertaking Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs) and undertaking a 50-question Situational Judgement Test (SJT). The results of these two assessments will form the basis of a competitive, merit-based applicant allocation to an RTP. For details regarding the assessment and allocation phase, please visit the AGPT website.

Allocation and RTP placement assessment Applicants who have successfully completed the assessment phase will be included in the allocation process. Based on rank and the availability of places at their preferred RTP, applicants will be allocated to their highest available preference. RTPs will use the results from the MMIs and SJT (and any further requested information such as a placement assessment) to determine appropriate allocation of places. Applicants will be advised of the outcomes of the allocation, and suitable applicants will be offered training places.

8 Applying for general practice training

To find out more about the selection process, visit the ‘New Applicants’ section of the AGPT website at

What do I need to do to prepare my application? There are a number of things you can do now to prepare for your application.

Referees All applicants must provide the details of two referees in their online application. Referees ideally should be a medical practitioner who has directly supervised the applicant for at least a period of 10 weeks within the past three years. Applicants need to select referees who are able to confidently make judgements about the applicant’s professional capabilities and suitability for general practice, and who can be contacted during the selection period.

Key dates Applications open: Mid-April 2012 Applications close: Mid-May 2012 Please refer to for the most up-to-date information on dates.

Supporting documentation Certified true copies of various official documents (for example, residency/citizenship proof) must be included with your application in order to meet a number of legislative requirements. You can prepare this documentation prior to the opening of applications.

What is an MMI? MMIs involve applicants being rotated between interview stations with each interviewer asking the same question to each applicant individually. Applicants will have two minutes to read the question before entering the interview room, then eight minutes to answer the question from the interviewer. The applicant is then rotated to the next interview station and the same procedure applies for the next question.

What is an SJT? SJTs consist of a number of scenarios that applicants are asked to assess and answer based on answers of varying degrees of correctness being made available to the applicant. Applicants are asked to choose the answer they consider best fits the given scenario. Please keep an eye on the AGPT website for detailed and up-to-date information about the selection process and application requirements. Please contact AGPT Selection for further information via email at or call (02) 6263 6776. Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


GP TRaining 2013... If you want to train to become a GP, then you should apply for the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program for 2013. The AGPT program is a world-class vocational training program for medical graduates wishing to pursue a career in general practice in Australia.

Talk to your RTP or go to:

Selection day The inside story Prepping the paperwork I started my preparation two months before, gathering paperwork and asking two of my recent consultants to be my referees. I found the people at GPET really helpful as my application was not so straightforward given that I had only one consultant referee who had known me for the required 10 weeks. After a quick email correspondence they accepted a reference from my consultant of seven weeks. Phew!

Selection day preparation

Dr Mary Wyatt, a GP Ambassador during 2011, reports on what happened to her before and after the big day. Taking the plunge After four years at university and four months into my internship, I was ready to take the plunge and apply for the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program for 2012. My experience of selection was a little different from previous years in that not only did the candidates have to sit interviews similar to OSCE stations called Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs), but we also had to sit a Situational Judgement Test (SJT). 132

Visit our website ­—

Then there was preparation for the selection day. The Going Places Network in Western Australia co-ordinated a ‘Tapas and Table Talk’ event where GP registrars talked about their journeys through the training program and their preparation for interview day. It was very relaxing and reassuring that the themes the speakers shared were along the same lines as those in the AGPT Application Guide — communication and interpersonal skills, analytical and problem-solving skills, organisational and management skills, and vocational motivation.

Situational Judgement Test tips Dr Denise Findlay, the Director of Education at Western Australian General Practice Education and Training (WAGPET), ran through the two styles of questioning in the Situational Judgement Test (SJT).

8 Applying for general practice training

We looked at questions that required ordering answers from best to worst and examples where we had to choose the best of a number of options. The biggest message from that meeting was to ‘be yourself ’.

Preparing on the net I also prepared by doing some internet searches. The FAQs at were helpful and the AGPT Handbook 2012 was very useful. It clearly outlined the selection process and had examples from both the SJT and the MMI. Download it at in the ‘New Applicants’ section.

The big day The big day arrived. My preparation for the actual day included reading my recent application to the hospital for my next year. Funny how the same themes of organisation, communication and interpersonal skills keep reccurring. Reflecting on clinical situations surrounding these themes came in handy for the MMI.

Two groups At the Selection Centre there were other anxious-looking candidates and I could tell that this was a very important day for most of us.

“I started my preparation two months before, gathering paperwork and asking two of my recent consultants to be my referees.” Testing times The stations consisted of two minutes reading time and eight minutes answering the question with the interviewer. This was plenty of time to talk through my answer. Before I knew it the four stations were over. Then it was off for a 10-minute coffee break before sitting the SJT. This was the most strenuous part because of the sheer volume of reading and quick decision-making required. I managed to finish all 50 questions with five minutes to spare, and I think most candidates were in a similar situation. Pens down — what a relief!

We were spilt into two groups and I was in the group that sat the MMI first. The questions were based on clinical situations where I had displayed organisational, communication and interpersonal skills. The interviewers were friendly and instantly made me feel at ease. Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


Discover GP Training in Central and Southern Queensland

Training for P AGPT and PGP programs Work and train in rural and metropolitan areas ACRRM and RACGP fellowships offered Responsive, innovative, tion, flexible educa port training & sup What do GP Registrars like about CSQTC? Feedback gathered from an independent review of our organisation in 2011 reflected that CSQTC has a “people-oriented culture” and Registrars appreciate the positive attitude of our staff as we “make them feel important”.

Central and Southern Queensland Training Consortium

Ph 07 3552 8100

How to apply 8 Applying for general practice training

for the Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS) GP training If you are working in a rural or remote location, you may be eligible to apply for GP training with the Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS). When

• Applications for the 2013 intake of the

• Registrars stay in one location throughout

training. RVTS does not place registrars in training locations.

• RVTS is a recognised pathway to fellowship,

funded by the Australian government and delivered by RVTS Ltd. There are 22 places available for 2013.


• To be informed when applications are

Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS) program open in May. Positions may become available at other times. To be informed when applications are being accepted, visit and register your interest.

being accepted, visit and register your interest. To learn more about the program visit the ‘For Applicants’ section on the RVTS website.


• Doctors must be working in an eligible

RVTS location to apply. In exceptional circumstances, applicants who will be in an eligible location at the start of training may be considered.

• Applications are accepted from Australian

citizens, permanent residents and temporary residents.

• RVTS is designed to provide training in

RVTS is a distance education program for GP registrars training towards FRACGP/FARGP and FACRRM.

It pays to do some research before making an application to RVTS.

• Determine your eligibility on the RVTS

website. Contact RVTS if you need clarification.

• Read the RVTS Applicant Guide, available

locations where the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program is not available; this includes solo doctor practices.


Do it now

from the website.

• Start getting the required supporting

documentation together early.

For more information regarding the RVTS program, visit or phone (02) 6021 6235. Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


Spread the GP love. ‘Like us’ on Facebook and spread the Going Places Network love. Visit our Facebook page to connect with other junior doctors, find exclusive offers, latest events, videos and more!


Info file

Jargonbuster! Acronyms and abbreviations abound in the language of general practice training. Learn the lingo here. AAGP — Australian Association of General Practitioners AAPM — Australian Association of Practice Managers ACIR — Australian Childhood Immunisation Register ACRRM — Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine One of two general practice colleges. ACRRM has a curriculum of educational objectives for rural GPs and a fellowship process for vocational registration. AFP — Australian Family Physician The official journal of the RACGP. AGPAL — Australian General Practice Accreditation Ltd. This organisation completes accreditation of practices throughout Australia. Speak to your practice manager for further information.

AKT — Applied Knowledge Test A component of the RACGP Fellowship examination. A computer-based exam in multiple-choice format. AMPCo — Australian Medical Publishing Company Register with them to get a free subscription to Medicine Today, Australian Doctor and Medical Observer. To arrange this, visit AMA — Australian Medical Association An independent organisation that represents the professional interests of all doctors, including political, legal and industrial. AMH — Australian Medicines Handbook AMSA — Australian Medical Students’ Association ARST — Advanced rural skills training

ASGC-RA — Australian Standard Geographical Classification — Remoteness Areas AGPN — Australian General Practice Network This is the Australian Bureau of Statistics model The national body that represents the local by which all cities and towns in Australia are divisions of general practice, some are now called assigned a number between RA1–5. This is used Medicare locals. Previously Australian Divisions of to calculate incentive payments to doctors General Practice. outside metropolitan areas. AGPT — Australian General Practice Training The training program for GP registrars. AIDA — Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association 138

Visit our website ­—

RA1 — Major cities RA2 — Inner regional RA3 — Outer regional

9 Info file

RA4 — Remote

FGAMS — Foreign graduates of an accredited medical school RA5 — Very remote May be subject to the 10-year moratorium A map of Australia showing these classifications is (see also IMG and OTD). available at FRACGP — Fellowship of the Royal Australian CMO — Career medical officer College of General Practitioners CPD — Continuing professional development GPET — General Practice Education and Divisions of General Practice — Training Limited Federally funded to provide support and A government limited company that funds and educational activities to GPs and local primary contracts with RTPs to provide general practice care services within their division (local area); education to registrars and prevocational doctors. for example, diabetes nurse educators. Find out GPR — General practice registrar, GP registrar which division your practice belongs to and join. GP registrar membership is free in some regions. GPRA — General Practice Registrars Australia Ltd DHAS — Doctors’ Health Advisory Service Represents GP registrar issues to AGPT, RACGP, DoHA — Department of Health and Ageing ACRRM, DoHA and other bodies involved in The Commonwealth Government department training. Membership is free. GPRA has a board responsible for health and ageing. of nine directors, an advisory council made up of RLOs from every RTP and is staffed by a team DVA — Department of Veterans’ Affairs of professional employees. EBM — Evidence-based medicine GPRIP — General Practice Rural ECT — External clinical teacher Incentives Program ESP — Extended skills post A component of AGPT comprising a six-month training post in either general practice or an area of relevant skills; for example obstetrics and gynaecology, accident and emergency.

GPT1, GPT2, GPT3 — General practice terms 1, 2 and 3 Part of the RACGP curriculum.

FACRRM — Fellowship of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine

IMG — International medical graduate May be subject to the 10-year moratorium (see also FGAMS and OTD).

FARGP — Fellowship in Advanced Rural General Practice

HMO — Hospital medical officer

JAC — Joint Advisory Committee JCC — Joint Consultative Committee Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


KFP — Key Feature Problems A component of the RACGP Fellowship examination. A computer-based exam in short and long answer. MBS — Medicare Benefits Schedule ME and TA — Medical educators and training advisors One of these people from your RTP will give advice and guidance about your training.

OSCE — Objective Structured Clinical Examination A component of the RACGP Fellowship exam comprising multiple stations similar to an MSAT or viva voce examination. OTC — Over the counter OTD — Overseas-trained doctor May be subject to the 10-year moratorium (see also FGAMS and IMG).

NGPSA — National General Practice Supervisors’ Association Not to be confused with the SLON (Supervisor Liaison Officer Network), although they are essentially the same people. NGSPA is the GPRA equivalent for supervisors. It undertakes an advocacy role for supervisors, particularly in terms and conditions negotiations.

PBS — Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme/ Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule

NMTC — National Minimum Terms and Conditions A document prepared for GP registrars in their first and second general practice terms that outlines the requirements of employment contracts between registrars and practices.

RACGP — Royal Australian College of General Practitioners One of two general practice colleges. Has a fellowship process for vocational registration. RACGP also offers a Fellowship in Advanced Rural General Practice (FARGP).

NPS — National Prescribing Service A Commonwealth Government-funded organisation that provides independent information on the prescription and use of various medications. Lots of resources and case studies for GP registrars can be found at

RACGP Library — RACGP members can access the full suite of services provided by the RACGP John Murtagh Library. Non-members can access some services for a fee. Visit


Visit our website ­—

PIP — Practice Incentives Program PGPPP — Prevocational General Practice Placements Program QA and CPD — Quality assurance and continuing professional development

RACGP state censor — A fellow of the RACGP in each state who checks that the GP registrar has completed the training requirements for fellowship.

9 Info file

RDAA — Rural Doctors Association Australia Has state branches. Represents rural doctor issues to government and other organisations. RDL — Registrar-directed learning RDNA — Rural Doctors Network Australia

SBO — State-Based (Divisional) Organisation A state-funded organisation, not always directly linked to ADGP or individual divisions. Provides some educational activities that GP registrars can attend. SIP — Service Incentive Payment

RFDS — Royal Flying Doctor Service

SLO — GP supervisor liaison officer RLO — Registrar liaison officer Employed by an RTP to represent and advocate A registrar employed by an RTP to represent and for GP supervisors. advocate for GP registrars and liaise with GPRA. 10-year moratorium RMO — Resident medical officer The 10-year moratorium requires some doctors originally from overseas (see OTDs, FGAMS and RPBS — Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits IMGs) to train and practise in designated areas of Scheme/Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits need such as rural and outer metropolitan areas Schedule for up to 10 years, although it is now possible RROC — Registrar Representative on Council to reduce this time by practising in more A GP registrar who sits on the council of the remote areas. RACGP to represent registrar concerns. TGA — Therapeutic Goods Administration RRADO — Registrar Research and TMO — Trainee medical officer Development Officer The RRADO is a registrar employed part-time by GPET to promote training in research and academic general practice.

UGPA — United General Practice Australia

RRF — Registrar Research Fund A pool of funding maintained by GPET to fund GP registrar research projects.

VR — Vocational registration

RTP — Regional training provider RTPs tender for contracts from GPET to provide regionalised GP training.

VMO — Visiting medical officer

Wonca — World Organisation of National Colleges, Academies and Academic Associations of General Practitioners/Family Physicians Contributed by Dr Siew-Lee Thoo, Dr Naomi Harris, Dr Kate Kelso and Dr Kirsten Patterson

RVTS — Remote Vocational Training Scheme Provides distance vocational training to doctors already working in rural and remote locations where on-site supervision is not available. Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


Put Your Career in Focus We invite you to explore the possibilities that a career in general practice offers. As a general practitioner you will experience diverse and challenging medical practice combined with a balanced and satisfying lifestyle. As a general practitioner you have the opportunity to leave your footprint on primary health and make a real difference to the community you work in.

General practice offers a diverse range of professional and personal benefits. • Lifestyle and flexibility • Diverse patient care • Continuity of care • Extensive clinical exposure • Portability of career • Management of complex issues • Participation in community • Independence with strong team support • Excellent work/life balance

Talk to one of the 4 Victorian GP training providers about your career in general practice. They can explain how the training program works, how you apply, eligibility and hospital requirements, pathway and other training options.

General Practice Training in Victoria

Bogong Regional Training Network *Formerly getGP & GGTGPET

VMA General Practice Training

with General Practice

Beyond Medical Education *Formerly GPlogic & Victoria Felix Medical Education

For more information contact: Pauline Ingham, VicNet Marketing & Research Officer RWAV Phone: 03 9349 7825

GPweb directory Popular websites where GPs go to get their information. Organisations Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA)

Advanced Paediatric Life Support (APLS) Diploma in Child Health (The Children’s Hospital at Westmead)

The Federal Government’s health department website includes information on the latest public health campaigns, key policies, services, important Online learning forms and links to other relevant websites. gplearning online (An RACGP initiative) See also your state or territory health department website. Medicare Australia (for providers) GPET GPRA RACGP ACRRM AMA

ThinkGP Rural Health Education Foundation PrimEd PrimEd is a series of online professional development programs — under redevelopment at time of writing.

Reference and evidence-based medicine databases PubMed (US National Library of Medicine)


Sexual Health and Family Planning Australia courses

PubMed consists of more than 19 million citations for biomedical articles from MEDLINE and life science journals. PubMed also has full-text articles and links to other resources.

Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics (ALSO)


Visit our website ­—

9 Info file

The Cochrane Library


The Cochrane Library provides visitors with the option of searching through thousands of clinical reviews assessing the effectiveness of treatments from a selection of databases. The library can be accessed through the Australasian Cochrane Centre website. The Australasian Cochrane Centre is one of a number of centres established internationally to assist in the co-ordination of The Cochrane Collaboration’s activities. The Cochrane Collaboration is an international non-profit organisation that provides up-to-date information on the effects of health care. The international site ( has top links for GPs and podcasts on reviews for your commute to work.

This US-based website contains peer-reviewed and regularly updated review articles on an extensive range of clinical topics. It has a subscription fee.

Bandolier Bandolier is a key source for high quality information on evidence-based health care in the UK. It is also known for its award-winning electronic version at, which reportedly receives almost 90,000 visitors to its pages every week. RADAR (Register of Australian Drug and Alcohol Research)

Journals and publications The Medical Journal of Australia (Journal of the AMA) The Medical Journal of Australia (MJA) is Australia’s leading peer-reviewed journal of medical practice and clinical research. Australian Family Physician online Australian Family Physician (AFP) is the official peer-reviewed journal of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. Medical Observer The Medical Observer website has excellent links to GP resources and patient handouts. It also has a useful ‘Clinical Review’ tab to keep you updated on medical news. To access content, you have to be a registered medical practitioner or health care professional and log in.

RADAR is a project of the Alcohol and other Drugs Council Australia. The register contains the latest records of current and recently completed research projects with details of published research. Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice


Australian Doctor

National Prescribing Service (NPS)

The Australian Doctor website has many resources for clinicians, leading you to respected journals from Australia and around the world. It also features ‘How To Treat’, a review article written by experts.

The National Prescribing Service is an independent non-profit organisation that aims to provide accurate, balanced evidence-based information about medicines. The website contains sections for consumers, health professionals and other members and stakeholders.

Medicine Today Medicine Today is a free, peer-reviewed journal with clinical feature articles, updates and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities. Journal Watch The Wonca (World Organisation of National Colleges, Academies and Academic Associations of General Practitioners/Family Physicians) website scans the internet for journal articles and medical literature from across the world in its Journal Watch section. It includes synopses and directs you to the relevant websites.

Guidelines and clinical information GP Psych Support (An RACGP initiative) GP Psych Support is a service that offers GPs patient management advice from psychiatrists within 24 hours.You must be registered to use the service.


Visit our website ­—

Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) The Department of Health and Ageing’s Therapeutic Goods Administration website provides information on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods. The TGA monitors and assesses therapeutic goods in Australia, ensures they are of an acceptable standard and ensures that any therapeutic advances are readily available to the Australian public. Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) This Australian Government website has information on the Pharmaceuticals Benefits Scheme and now also includes the Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits, which lists all medicines under the PBS. Australian Prescriber The Australian Prescriber is an independent publication offering information on drugs and therapeutic goods. It is run by the National Prescribing Service. Full-text articles are available free of charge.

9 Info file

MIMS Australia

My Dr (MIMS Australia)

MIMS Australia supplies Australian health professionals with products and publications that assist GPs to make decisions in the clinic.

The My Dr website contains a range of consumer-friendly tools — quizzes, calculators, a medical dictionary and information on medications.

Australian Drug Foundation The Australian Drug Foundation works to educate the community on the problems associated with drugs and alcohol. Activities include conducting research, holding seminars and undertaking community development work. Clinical Practice Guidelines NHMRC This is a clearinghouse of clinical guidelines from the Australian Government’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). Royal Children’s Hospital Guidelines (Paediatric)

Patient information Better Health Channel

HealthInsite HealthInsite is an Australian Government initiative that aims to provide patients with the latest information on health and wellbeing. It has links to health services across the states and territories. GPnotebook GPnotebook is an encyclopaedia of medicine updated on a continual basis. It has over 26,000 pages of information. The website now has a subscription fee. Parent handouts This is a series of handouts for parents and patients from the Royal Children’s Hospital.

The Better Health Channel offers GPs consumer-based information that is checked on a regular basis. It has useful handouts for patients.

Going Places — Taking a fresh look at general practice

147 Your one-stop shop packed with essential information and resources for junior doctors considering a career in general practice. to calculate how much you could earn as a GP? • Want Like to get first-hand information from experienced GPs • through videos, case studies and blogs? help understanding GP training? • Need to get in touch with your Going Places GP Ambassador? • Want Like to use our forum to get your burning general practice • questions answered?

Go online to keep up to date with what’s happening with the Going Places Network!

Download the Going Places magazine

The Going Places magazine is published three times a year. It’s full of real-life stories about GPs from across Australia. It also includes helpful clinical information and case studies. Download it at or look out for it in your JMO lounges.

With you on your journey Students

Junior doctors



General Practice Students Network

Going Places Network

General Practice Registrars Australia

R-cubed – wellbeing for doctors

General Practice Registrars Australia (GPRA) Level 4, 517 Flinders Lane, Melbourne Victoria 3001 Phone: 03 9629 8878

Going Places Guide 2012  
Going Places Guide 2012  

Going Places guide is the prevocational doctors guide to GP training. It has the A-Z on the journey towards a career in general practice, in...