Armidale is playing host this week to nearly 30 new doctors who are starting on the path to becoming specialist GPs.
The GP registrars are attending a general practice education workshop run by local training provider GP Synergy. They will then begin their community-based training in practices throughout the New England/Northwest region in towns from Wee Waa and Warialda, to Tamworth and Armidale.
To specialise as a GP, doctors undertake three to four years of additional training in a combination of hospital and general practice settings.
The new recruits will join more than 50 GP registrars already working throughout the region, including seven here in Armidale.
At the workshop the new GP registrars are covering topics from dermatology to pain management and communication skills.
“Rural GP registrars need a diverse set of skills and knowledge,” said GP Synergy Director of Education and Training Dr Vanessa Moran.
“To support the registrars in meeting local community health needs we deliver regionalised training, that is delivered by local medical education teams,” Dr Moran said.
Dr Moran said the community can play an important role in helping doctors settle into town.
“GP registrars come from a variety of backgrounds, with a vast range of skills and experience.
“Welcoming and supporting new doctors into rural communities, as well as developing robust rural training pipelines for doctors who want to continue their training in the New England/Northwest region, is critical to building a strong and sustainable rural primary care workforce,” Dr Moran said.