26 March 2019

Rural generalist training explained


Interested in the sound of rural generalist training, but not quite sure what’s involved? If you’re keen to complete your general practice training and set up your GP career in a rural area, read on for more info about one of the most rewarding, challenging and diverse arms of GP training.

What is rural generalist training?

Rural generalists are GPs who have specialised in a particular area of medicine. The list of potential specialisations is extensive, but the more popular ones are anaesthetics, emergency medicine, obstetrics, paediatrics and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health.

Rural generalists play a vital role in servicing small rural communities who do not have staff specialists providing these services. This training promises a rewarding and diverse career and is a great option if you’re interested in expanding your career outside the realm of mainstream general practice.

Rural generalist training is designed to prepare training GPs for a career working as a rural or remote GP. The process requires a distinct training environment that provides opportunities to learn and practice the broad scope of skills needed in rural and remote settings.

Rural generalist training is available through both the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) as part of the Australian General Practice Training program.

Training time

Regardless of the college you’re training with, those on the rural generalist training will train for four years full time and, as you would expect, large components of the training are in rural and remote settings. If you choose to complete rural generalist training, you’ll have additional training time available to enable you to gain the additional skills you may need for your end-point qualification.

patient checkup

When to register interest

The time to declare your interest in the rural generalist training is at the point of application to the AGPT program (2020 applications close 29 April 2019).

Early in the application process your chosen college will prompt you to say if you’re interested in the rural generalist program, rural medicine, hospital practice or procedural training. That’s your cue to register your interest in the rural generalist training program.

Rural generalist training with RACGP

If you’re doing your GP training with RACGP you’ll combine your Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (FRACGP) with a Fellowship in Advanced Rural General Practice (FARGP), and you’ll need to be on the rural pathway. This training incorporates the skills typically associated with urban general practice clinics but extends this skills base to include advanced skills and a broader scope of practice to prepare doctors for work in the diverse settings and roles where these extended competencies are expected.

Rural generalists can work in remote general practice clinics and hospitals, Aboriginal Medical Services, retrieval medicine, refugee health services and more.

Rural generalist training with ACRRM

All ACRRM training places are considered suitable to train under the AGPT Rural Generalist Policy.

If you’d like to find out more about Rural Generalist Training, have a read of the AGPT Rural Generalist Policy 2019 on the AGPT website.