31 January 2022

NT community health receives boost with 27 new trainee GPs


NTGPE welcomes new GP registrars at the beginning of every year. Pictured above are the 2021 cohort of new registrars.

The Northern Territory medical community is getting a boost with 27 doctors beginning their GP training at an orientation program this week. The fully-qualified doctors will undertake their orientation online this year, after local GP training provider Northern Territory General Practice Education (NTGPE) quickly adapted the program to a virtual platform due to the current COVID-19 situation in the NT.

The registrars will spend the next three to four years training to become specialist GPs, with their training starting with NTGPE. They join 75 doctors who are at various stages of their training under the supervision of Medical Educators through NTGPE.

This year’s batch of doctors will all begin their Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) Program training at various practices and organisations across the Territory, including:

  • Darwin
  • Katherine
  • Alice Springs
  • Barkly
  • Remote communities.

NTGPE Chief Executive Officer Dr Richard Zanner congratulated this year’s new intake of doctors at the start of their journey to become GPs.

“Our GP registrars make up vital workforce numbers, and our commitment to rural and remote health placements means we are making significant contributions to improving health in these regions,” said Dr Zanner.

“We work with colleges, healthcare providers, medical educators, cultural educators, and GP supervisors to offer a training program which delivers culturally competent and varied training opportunities.”

The Australian Government-funded AGPT Program trains doctors to become GPs, providing full-time, on-the-job training for Australian and overseas-trained doctors who want to specialise in general practice. NTGPE works with the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) and the Royal Australian College of General Practice (RACGP) to select, train, and educate future GPs on behalf of the Australian Government.

NTGPE is the sole provider of the AGPT Program in the NT, and placed GP registrars throughout the Territory in 2021, including 42 per cent undertaking placements in Indigenous health training. Dr Zanner said the delivery of world-class training and high-level support to GP registrars in the NT has been built on a foundation of experience, relationships, and local knowledge of healthcare delivery, especially in rural and remote Australia.

“NTGPE is a significant contributor to rural and remote health care in the NT,” he said.

“Our unique approach to the challenges of primary health care in Indigenous communities means NTGPE is at the forefront of supplying GP registrars to help the most vulnerable and least accessible people in Australia.”

Dr Zanner said NTGPE and the GP registrars who train within the AGPT Program are the leaders in rural and remote health care, both in the NT and nationally.

“We train well-rounded, highly-skilled GPs who are passionate about primary health care in Australia, and our latest graduates are no different,” he said.

“NTGPE also sets an expectation that our GP registrars will apply their acquired cultural knowledge throughout their career and contribute to closing the gap in Indigenous disadvantage nationally.

“We are training future GPs who will be developing solutions to Australia’s biggest health issues.”