There are multiple pathways into general practice in Australia.
There are two medical colleges in Australia through which you can obtain GP fellowship.
The colleges in Australia are:
- the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM),
resulting in Fellowship of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (FACRRM).
- the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP),
resulting in Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (FRACGP).
The AGPT program is the most popular pathway for medical graduates to become a GP
The Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program is the leading training program for medical graduates wishing to pursue a career in general practice in Australia.
The Australian Government funds around 1,500 AGPT training positions per year. As the training program is government-funded, there are certain eligibility criteria you must meet to qualify for the program.
To be accepted into the AGPT program you will apply through a medical college (ACRRM or RACGP). This will be the college through which you will obtain your GP Fellowship. You must nominate either the rural pathway (training in rural or remote areas) or the general pathway (training in inner or outer metropolitan areas).
You will also nominate up to four training regions within a Regional Training Organisation (RTO). Your nominated RTO delivers your GP training. You can only choose a training region, not a specific location, and you will stay in that region for the duration of your training.
Applicants are shortlisted to their highest available training region preference. RTOs will advise applicants if they have received an offer.
Application to the AGPT program
You apply for the AGPT program through your preferred college.
Each college has a different selection process. Read more about the AGPT application and Selection process here.
The Department of Health has produced a number of helpful factsheets.
- Application and selection process
- ACRRM and RACGP overviews
- Key requirements for GP registrars on the AGPT Program
Aside from the AGPT program, there are other pathways to become a GP in Australia
Both medical colleges have different pathways suited to different needs. This includes full-fee paying pathways, pathways for international medical graduates based on previous training and experience in general practice, and more.
Visit the GPRA site for more information.
The Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS)
RVTS is a government-funded GP training program for medical practitioners working in rural and remote communities throughout Australia, and doctors working in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service.
You can choose either ACRRM or RACGP as your medical college. You do not choose an RTO.
Through this training scheme, you live and work in your remote location while conducting your GP training remotely, supported by distance education and remote supervision.
If you are interested in this program, apply directly with the RVTS. Visit rvts.org.au for more information.
A side-by-side comparison of the ACRRM and RACGP AGPT pathway
ACRRM AGPT program structure
AGPT hospital training (first 12 months) Core clinical training time working in metropolitan, regional or rural hospitals. You can apply to the training program as an intern and undertake your second year as part of GP training. There are compulsory rotations.
Primary rural and remote training (24 months) Training takes place in rural and remote posts in hospitals, general practice, Aboriginal Health Services, community health services and other posts. You will build clinical and procedural skills, provide comprehensive and continuing care across the primary and secondary continuum. Advanced skills training can be integrated at this stage with ACRRM approval.
Advanced specialised training (12 months) Training in one of 10 ACRRM-specified disciplines, extending your skills and knowledge in one specialised area relevant to rural and remote general practice. Training can occur in metropolitan, rural or remote posts.
RACGP AGPT program structure
AGPT hospital training (first 12 months) The first year of the program is spent in a hospital which can be completed anywhere in Australia, not necessarily in the region of your RTO. You will need to complete the following rotations before starting your general practice training: general medicine, general surgery, emergency, paediatrics, and a range of other rotations to provide a breadth of experience.
Prior to commencing your general practice term, you will need to have completed a basic life support course in the previous 12 months. In certain circumstances, you may be eligible to apply for an exemption for the first year of the program via Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).
General practice placements (18 months) Your training organisation will have a list of the placements you will need to complete. You will receive supervision and teaching from GP supervisors. Registrars in the general pathway need to complete at least 12 months in outer metropolitan, rural or Aboriginal health posts during their training. Registrars in the rural pathway must complete at least 18 months in a rural practice setting.
Extended skills (six months) The six months of extended skills training provides an opportunity to develop your general practice skills and can be completed in a variety of RACGP-accredited settings. There is a range of options for extended skills, including palliative care, sports medicine, sexual health or skin cancer medicine.
Optional advanced rural skills (12 months) This leads to an additional Fellowship in Advanced Rural General Practice (FARGP). This training year is undertaken working in accredited rural training posts and accredited advanced rural training posts. There are two core modules which must be completed.