Rural Generalist Medicine

Rural generalists are general practitioners with extended scope, who provide primary care services, emergency medicine care, and have additional training and skills in a sub-specialty field. Common areas for advanced skill development include anaesthesia and obstetrics, however rural generalists can pursue sub-specialisation in any field that allows rural patients to receive medical care closer to home.

RG male patient and drRG female dr with child patient

Rural and remote medicine in Australia is unique. Rural generalists bring a wealth of skills and experience to the diverse communities and locations in which they practise. Much like the tight-knit communities they serve, rural generalists are resourceful and resilient. Doctors who choose rural generalist medicine as a career thrive on providing an extended scope of practice with advanced skills that help them serve the needs of their communities. Rural generalists are flexible and can adapt to working in a range of environments. Rural generalists are highly valued and appreciated by the communities they serve, which makes for a truly rewarding career. Check out our Life as a Rural Generalist section to hear from some of our current and aspiring rural generalists about how rewarding a career in rural generalist medicine is.


Rural generalists and trainees play an important role in the lives of people in our country communities. People living in rural and remote areas experience poorer general health than those in metropolitan areas. Aboriginal health and life expectancy is significantly less than that of non-Aboriginal people. Government funding and industry investment over recent years have brought about a transformation of country health care through major and minor capital works. More towns now have contemporary health campuses, expanded hospitals, greater emergency service capacity and modern facilities and equipment. Coupled with technological and service innovations such as Telehealth, health care delivery is closer to home for more country Western Australians than ever before.


Rural generalist fellowships are offered by the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. The training pathway is the same minimum duration (four years) for the two colleges, however there are some differences in the vocational curriculum. A schematic summary of the two fellowship pathways is outlined in the image below. For further information, please visit the Primary Care Training section of our website.


Last Updated: 16/05/2024