University of New England - GP Synergy

University of New England

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The School of Rural Medicine is situated in Armidale, NSW, and delivers the Joint Medical Program with the University of Newcastle. Academic registrars should be in a location where they could travel to Armidale or Tamworth easily in order to fulfil their teaching component of the term. Registrars are encouraged to develop their own research projects in an area that interests them, and then the Discipline of Rural General Practice will organise supervisors to meet the registrars’ needs.

AddressDiscipline of Rural General Practice, School of Rural Medicine, University of New England, Armidale NSW 2351
Phone02 6773 3579
Head of DepartmentA/Prof Michelle Guppy
Contact person for academic mattersA/Prof Michelle Guppy –
Contact person for administrative mattersOffice Manager 02 6773 5670

Areas of research interest/activity/expertise

  • Evidence based medicine
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Adolescent Health
  • Rural Health
  • Acute Respiratory Infections
  • Medical Education

Current research projects in which there is potential for academic registrar involvement

  • Management of Chronic Kidney Disease and Diabetes in Rural General Practice


Teaching opportunities for registrars

The academic calendar is slightly different to the GP Synergy term dates, but there is flexibility around start and finishing dates to fit in with your GP Synergy timetable in Armidale.

Term 1 – Generally begins in late January, through to the end of June.

Term 2 – Begins first week of July, through to the beginning of December.

The School of Rural Medicine curriculum is a Joint Medical Program with the University of Newcastle. Students follow a problem-based learning (PBL) model of delivery. This is a 5 year course. As a GP registrar you can be involved in teaching across several years:

Years 1 & 2

Teaching clinical examination and history taking skills.

Year 3

This will be the primary teaching responsibility in your academic post. In year 3 the course is called “General Practice and Subspecialties”. You will be the tutor for one PBL group of 8-10 students.

Topics covered are: Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Infectious Disease, Drug & Alcohol, Oncology, Cardiovascular, Neurology, Respiratory, Diabetes and Endocrinology, Orthopaedics, Rheumatology, Immunology.

This is great revision for you if you are sitting your RACGP exams! These topics are very general practice focused, and students gain their clinical exposure to these patients on 6 weeks of GP placement throughout the two semesters.

Tutorials will be 2 x two hours per week.

GP registrars can also supervise students on their Health Equity Elective, where students learn all about the social and behavioural determinants of health.

Previous registrar research

In the past three years we’ve supervised three academic registrars. Their research projects were:

  • Assessing the feasibility of an outreach chlamydia screening program aimed at university college students.
  • Diagnosing coeliac disease: what presentations are prompting GPs to initiate testing?
  • GP education on the effect of organophosphate pesticides on the health of farmers.


Academic supervisors

Associate Professor Michelle Guppy

Associate Professor Michelle Guppy is the Discipline Lead of Rural General Practice at the School of Rural Medicine. Michelle teaches rurally based students about the issues surrounding health equity for rural Australians, and how General Practice provides health care in the regional and rural Australian context. Michelle has been practicing as rural GP for 13 years.

Her research interests include models of care for chronic disease management, particularly with respect to diabetes, and chronic kidney disease. She has also been involved in research into uses of technology for managing patients in rural areas (telehealth), and delivering medical education into rural areas, using electronic methods of delivery. She has also researched and supervised projects in Adolescent healthcare, Skin cancer management and Medical Education.

Michelle is an editor for the Cochrane Collaboration Acute Respiratory Infections group.


Dr Samantha Baker (2015 Registrar)

I did the research component of my academic term in 2015 with UNE, with Assoc. Prof. Michelle Guppy as my supervisor. I found the experience to be invaluable. My supervisor was extremely supportive and readily available for advice and help, despite the fact that I was living in another town and I had never delved into the world of research before. I cannot thank the UNE team enough for their support throughout that year, and I would highly recommend prospective registrars to consider an academic post with the university.

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