Orange Health Service is the first in NSW to be accredited to offer advanced specialised training in child and adolescent health to registrars training as general practitioners.
The long-term shortage of specialist paediatricians in many rural areas, makes the 12-month procedural training post as a unique opportunity for GP registrars to upskill in paediatrics.
The new training post has been accredited with local general practice training provider GP Synergy. GP registrars participating in the general practice training program are fully qualified doctors who are undertaking another three to four years specialised training in hospital and general practice settings, to become a GP.
GP Synergy’s Regional Head of Education Western NSW, Dr Anna Windsor is delighted that the first post has been accredited in Orange. Accreditation of a further four posts in NSW is pending.
“This is one way that GP Synergy is working towards better meeting the needs of rural communities.
“Training GPs with additional procedural skills in child and adolescent health, will reduce some of the burden that rural families with unwell children often face in having to travel to seek treatment.
The first GP registrar to undertake the paediatrics post is Dr Erica Watson. Dr Watson feels the experience of a hospital term in paediatrics will give her valuable skills.
“Paediatrics is an area that as a GP I’ll see a lot of.
“Undertaking the post has provided experience that I can apply in general practice, particularly in more rural areas.
“Smaller district hospitals have opportunities for upskilled GPs and that’s the sort of general practice I want to be involved in,” Dr Watson said.
Orange Health Service’s Director of Medical Services Dr Peter Thomas said the hospital has a long tradition of supporting regional GP training.
“Training procedural GPs is another way for Orange Health Service to support equitable access to health care in regional and rural areas.
“Away from the base hospitals, procedural GPs play an important role in regional district hospitals given their specialised skills in a particular area of medicine,” Dr Thomas said.