Update on efforts to recognize rural general practitioners as a specialty

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A recent submission brought the joint RACGP application closer to possible acceptance.

The RACGP is committed to collaborating with key players for the recognition of general rural medicine as a specialty.


Earlier this month, the RACGP and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) submitted additional information in support of their joint application for recognition of rural general medicine as a specialized field of practice. general.

The information, requested by the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) in August 2020, will constitute Stage 2 of the request, which has been in development since September 2019.

According to the RACGP, the decision to have rural general medicine recognized as a protected title and a specialized field “will support the development and strengthen the attractiveness for trainees of a specific training course for this career”, as well as “develop a workforce provide extensive services for the health needs of rural and remote communities ”.

RACGP Rural President Dr Michael Clements said gp news the college is “very happy” to work with ACRRM and the new National Rural Health Commissioner, Associate Professor Ruth Stewart, to move forward in recognition.

“Rural GPs are an important part of the rural workforce solution and this recognition supports the advancement of the rural GP national path,” he said.

“There is still a lot of work to be done, but we have been pleased with the support of stakeholders in advancing this goal.

“It is important to note that the RACGP will advance our offerings of support to rural GPs interested in receiving recognition from rural GPs for their existing work in rural and remote communities. “

In January 2021, a meeting of the Rural General Practitioner Recognition Working Group (the Working Group) with representatives from the AMC enabled the Working Group to clarify the decision-making process, timelines and expectations for moving to step 2 of the application.

The CMA has indicated that the following key areas of action are needed:

  • Undertake a new national consultation
  • Provide further evidence of the impact of the title of ‘Rural General Specialist’ on workforce outcomes
  • Provide a more detailed analysis of alternative mechanisms to achieve labor force outcomes without the title of “rural general specialist”

Taking these recommendations into account, the task force undertook national consultations, including a presentation of the request to the Council of Presidents of Medical Schools and a letter to all college presidents inviting further discussion.

Similar letters were sent to other key stakeholders, including rural and remote community groups, medical schools, state and territorial health services and departments, and indigenous community-controlled health organizations (ACCHO ).

The RACGP said recognition of the rural general practitioner designation will enable rural communities, as well as states and territories, to identify and understand the scope of practice of rural general practitioners.

The two colleges also expressed their commitment to work together to advance the application and delivery of training in the specialized area of ​​rural generalism.

If the MBA support goes to step 2 of the rural general practitioner recognition application, the result is estimated at 12 to 18 months.

Further information and updates on the status of the working group’s application are available on the website RACGP website.

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