A quick overview of the how, who and what of general practice training
If you are a little confused about how general practice training works, that is probably because it is organised very differently to any other medical vocational training program in Australia.
How is general practice training different?
Most medical vocational training programs in Australia are run by the colleges. The colleges select applicants, provide training material, play a part in organising educational activities and set training standards and examinations. Registrars of other specialties work in the hospital system under the supervision of consultants.
The differences in general practice training are:
- The two colleges of general practice, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), are not responsible for all aspects of general practice training.
- Other than the initial year of hospital terms, general practice training occurs mostly in a private practice setting, in an accredited training practice, with an experienced GP supervisor.
Australian General Practice Training (AGPT)
The main pathway into general practice training is through the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program, which is managed and funded through General Practice Education and Training (GPET) and delivered through regional training providers (RTPs). GPET manages general practice training on behalf of the Australian Government. The vocational endpoints of the AGPT program are Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (FRACGP) and Fellowship of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (FACRRM).
Visit the AGPT website.
Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS)
For those wishing to train in isolated rural locations, there is an alternative training program to AGPT – the Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS). This program is funded by the Commonwealth Government. The vocational endpoints of the RVTS program are Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (FRACGP) and Fellowship of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (FACRRM). Find out more information on the RVTS program here.
Visit the RVTS website.
What is the role of the two colleges of general practice?
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) set training standards, administer examinations and assessments, accredit training placements and sign off on completion of training by GP registrars. ??
Attainment of the Fellowship of the RACGP (FRACGP) or the Fellowship of ACRRM (FACRRM) is necessary to become vocationally registered (VR) for independent general practice in Australia under the Medicare system. Having VR status also gives GPs access to higher Medicare rebates.
Who is General Practice Registrars Australia?
General Practice Registrars Australia (GPRA) is a not-for-profit organisation that represents GP registrars during their training years and promotes general practice to medical students and junior doctors.
Find out more about GPRA here.