15 April 2019

What support is available to trainee GPs in the NT?


Training as a general practitioner in rural and remote areas of the Northern Territory doesn’t mean you’ll be left on your own as you learn the ropes — far from it. We provide some of the most comprehensive program, wellbeing and financial support to trainee GPs in the country through cultural education activities, our online learning portal, dedicated training teams, generous subsidies and more. Read on to learn about the types of support we offer to GPs in training in the NT.

1. Orientation and workshops

Let’s start at the beginning (of your training that is); every NTGPE GP registrar (GPR) will complete a three-day orientation. Here, you’ll get to meet your fellow GPRs — some of whom you’ll be heading off to the same communities on placement with — and find out more about your chosen college, the professional and training tools you’ll have access to, participate in skills development sessions, and heaps more.

In addition to orientation, you’ll also participate in two workshops in your first year of training, where you’ll complete hands-on procedural skills training (think practising skin procedures on pork belly and more fun stuff like that) and cultural education sessions — segue to next point.

2. Cultural education

Culture shock is real; if you’re not prepared, it can have a big impact on your training outcomes. That’s why we, unlike any other RTO, have a dedicated cultural education team who provide cultural education training at our GPR orientation and workshops.

This team also leads NTGPE’s four-day cultural immersion camps, which GP registrars can attend for free (we’ll even cover your travel expenses and reimburse your training post the salary paid to attend).

Our cultural educators also facilitate cultural teaching visits during which you’ll be observed in your clinical consultations and provided with real-time feedback on your cross-cultural communication skills. Each registrar has one visit in the first few weeks of their first Aboriginal health training placement and will be provided with a full report after the completion of the visit.

3. myGPcommunity

myGPcommunity is NTGPE’s online training portal that maps your training program; every NTGPE GP registrar receives a profile on this platform. It’s the hub for your training as it houses course materials, resources, mandatory term tasks, discussion and notice boards, and online study groups (particularly handy for exam preparation).

4. Access to online resources

Another great feature of myGPcommunity is that you’ll be able to access Therapeutic Guidelines (eTG), Australian Medicines Handbook, MBS Online and BMJ as part of free subscriptions provided during your training.

Dr Aung

5. Dedicated training team

Each NTGPE GP registrar is assigned a dedicated training team, comprising a medical educator, program manager and pastoral care officer. Although we’ll check in with you on a regular basis, it’s up to you to make the most of the support offered. Touching base with your training team frequently will help improve your training outcomes, create a more positive experience of NT community life and enhance your skills as a GP.

6. Small group learning

As the name suggests, SGLs bring GP registrars training in the same location together with NTGPE’s medical educators. GPT1s are required to attend weekly SGLs, while GPT2s attend on a fortnightly basis. Attending SGL not only helps you develop your skills as a GP, prepare you for your exams and mandatory training tasks, and build your network of fellow trainee GPs, but also contribute points towards your fellowship. These sessions are *super* important and helpful.

7. Financial support

Another important way we support our GP registrars is through generous financial incentives. The amount of financial support you’ll be eligible for will depend on where you train, but it’s safe to say that the more remote you go, the more financial incentives you’ll be eligible for. Generally speaking, NTGPE GP registrars can access between $5000 and $10,000 in subsidies per six-month term. These funds can go towards course attendance, education resources, respite breaks and relocation.

In addition, GP registrars may also be eligible for additional course reimbursement (one-off $2000 payment), rental assistance ($100 per week, if a house is not supplied in your location) and internet access subsidy ($30 per month). For more info about the financial support you have access to, have a read of the GP registrar subsidy policy.