A new training initiative has been developed by local general practice training provider, GP Synergy, to support rural doctors training to become rural generalists.
‘Rural generalists’ are medical practitioners who provide hospital based procedural skills such as Anaesthesia, Obstetrics and Emergency Medicine, as well as provide community based primary care in rural and remote areas.
“GPs who have the skills to deliver babies and perform anaesthetics are often the determining factor in what clinical services a rural hospital can provide. Without them, many rural communities would be required to travel significant distances for services like maternity and minor surgery,” says GP Synergy Director of Training, Dr Rosa Canalese.
These advanced skills are taught in parallel to standard general practice training with providers like GP Synergy. Doctors on the GP training program can spend an additional 6 to 18 months at regional hospitals such as Armidale or Tamworth, developing their skills under the supervision and guidance of experienced and dedicated specialists.
Following the necessary assessments, their skills are put to use in smaller towns like Moree, Gunnedah and Inverell. Here they provide essential services to local hospitals, while at the same time undertaking the community based primary care component of their training in a local general practice.
Dr Canalese says that although the doctors complete their procedural skills training equipped with the relevant skills, it is imperative they continue to receive on-going support during their first year in practice.
“The more we can support these young doctors in their training, the more likely they will have positive experiences and stay in the region using these skills for the longer term,” she says.
To provide this support GP Synergy has developed a collaborative training initiative involving the registrar’s rural hospital, their rural generalist supervisors, their home training hospital and training provider.
Under the initiative, GP registrars will receive individualised training and support in their first year out after completing procedural skills training that will ensure they continue to develop their skills as required for the local community they are serving.
Dr Canalese says there was overwhelming support for the initiative amongst the medical community demonstrating the strong commitment the region has to training procedural GPs.
“We all recognise the need for more procedural GPs in rural and remote areas, and the important role high quality training plays in the delivery of the best patient outcomes,” she says.
Pictured: Dr Dan Rankmore – Rural Generalist GP Registrar at Tamworth Hospital