Rural GPs need a broad range of skills and expertise, because quite literally – they never know what ailment will come through the door next!
For doctors training to become GPs (known as GP registrars) this can be a daunting prospect, says Dr Rosa Canalese, Director of Training of local general practice training provider, GP Synergy.
“One of the most enjoyable aspects of being a GP is the diversity in medical presentations,” she says. “However, it can also be one of the most challenging, as you need a broad knowledge base and skill set.”
To help equip GP registrars with the skills they need to practise in rural locations, GP Synergy delivers regular education sessions on a broad range of clinical topics.
One of these events was recently held in Armidale, where GP registrars travelled from across the region to attend sessions ranging from paediatric resuscitation to geriatrics to men’s health, amongst others.
Dr Canalese says the diversity in topics covered is a reflection of the significant scope of rural general practice.
“Many rural GPs often work across multiple settings – such as general practices, hospitals and nursing homes, and other facilities. For these GPs, their expertise needs to extend even further. Being able to engage with regional clinicians in the delivery of the education sessions provides a wonderful opportunity for GP registrars to develop these capabilities,” Dr Canalese says.
The number of GP registrars training in the New England/Northwest region has tripled since 2009.
There are currently 39 GP registrars training in general practices and hospitals within the New England/Northwest region.
This number is expected to grow as the numbers of GP training places increase nationally from 1200 in 2014 to 1500 in 2015.
High resolution images available on request
Above L to R: GP registrars Drs Nishamani Edirisinghe and Duc Phan practise their paediatric life support skills
Above L to R: GP registrars Drs Yana Martynova, Samantha Baker and Laboni Afsana fine tune their paediatric resuscitation skills.