Frequently Asked Questions

The core function of the Coordination Unit is to help to facilitate the transition for rural generalist trainees through the various educational and training components for the first six years of postgraduate training. The Coordination Unit also partners with existing organisations to enhance the professional experience in regional, rural and remote locations for rural generalists. Once on the pathway, you will be assigned a mentor who is an experienced Rural Generalist, provided with individualised career navigation, connected to our network of stakeholders and given priority access to requisite courses. You may also be eligible for ongoing professional development opportunities. Find out more about the Coordination Unit.
Check out the information on our Rural Generalist Pathway WA tab to find out about the eligibility requirements and application processes. If you need more information, please contact us.
Applications to join the Rural Generalist Pathway are now open. Visit the Applications section of our website to find out more.

Demonstrated rural experience includes at least two of the following (or equivalent):

  • Enrolled in or completed the Department of Health GP Program with rural intent
  • Completed at least one optional rural rotation (hospital or primary care), such as the Rural Junior Doctor Training Innovation Fund, Community Residency Program or John Flynn Placement Program
  • Enrolled in or completed a Rural Clinical School of WA (or interstate equivalent) 12-month placement
  • Completed at least one rural focused research project or publication
  • Volunteered in a rural or remote area
  • Lived in a rural or remote area for more than two years.

The Rural Generalist Pathway WA is a separate program which supplements the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) rural fellowship programs. You need to apply for ACRRM or RACGP training separately. Please visit the ACRRMRACGP and RVTS websites for further information on general practice training in Western Australia.

All doctors accepted into ACRRM or RACGP rural training are strongly encouraged to join the Rural Generalist Pathway WA. The core function of the Coordination Unit is to help to facilitate the transition for rural generalist trainees through the various educational and training components for the first six years of postgraduate training. The Coordination Unit also partners with existing organisations to enhance the professional experience in regional, rural and remote locations for rural generalists. Once on the pathway, you will be assigned a mentor who is an experienced Rural Generalist, provided with individualised career navigation, connected to our network of stakeholders and given priority access to requisite courses. You may also be eligible for ongoing professional development opportunities.

Upon entry to the Western Australian health care system, International Medical Graduates (IMGs) must prove that they meet the requirements of the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) to hold medical registration. The assessment process assesses the knowledge and clinical skills of IMGs seeking to qualify for medical registration in Australia. More information can be found through the Medical Board of Australia website. The WA Country Health Service offers the Workplace Based Assessment (WBA) program as an alternative to the Australian Medical Council clinical exam.

IMGs may join the Rural Generalist Pathway WA if they meet the eligibility requirements. It is important to note that general registration is required before being eligible to join a college training program.  

This is an example of what your training journey could look like. However, each trainee's journey will be unique and tailored to their specific needs.

 

Example RGP
In December 2019, the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), with assistance from the National Rural Health Commissioner, jointly submitted the first stage application to the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) for the recognition of Rural Generalist Medicine as a specialty practice field within General Practice. It is a key element of the implementation of a National Rural Generalist Pathway for a well supported and coordinated training and career pathway for a national Rural Generalist workforce. There is currently an extensive, trained Rural Generalist workforce but its sustainability and growth is hampered by the lack of formal status within the nation’s health systems. The attainment of recognition of the specialist field is seen as a necessary step towards a robust national Rural Generalist workforce.
In late 2019, the Australian Government announced it was building the foundations for a nationally consistent Rural Generalist training pathway (the National Pathway). The WA Country Health Service then established the Coordination Unit to support the Rural Generalist Pathway WA. In 2020, the Coordination Unit accepted its first intake of trainees who subsequently commenced on the Rural Generalist Pathway WA in 2021.

There are many options to work rurally, depending on what you are interested in. Here are the most common rural medical practitioner careers.

Rural Generalist: A rural or remote GP who has emergency medicine skills and additional skills in a specialist area, such as obstetrics, anaesthetics or general medicine. 

Rural GP: Rural GPs generally cover a wider scope than their metropolitan counterparts. This may include in-hospital care, after hours services, public health roles, clinical procedures and emergency care. It is common for rural GPs to encounter a broader range of complex and chronic health presentations as well as a larger proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients in their overall caseload. The extent to which the GP will engage in any of these activities and roles, however, will depend entirely on the rural or remote context in which they choose to practice, or the range of general practice skills in which they wish to involve themselves. Rural general practice provides diverse learning opportunities as well as the acquisition of skills that would not normally be available in metropolitan hospitals. These include minor procedural skills, chronic condition management, dermatology, occupation medicine and paediatrics [Source: Andrewartha et al, 2020].

Rural GP Proceduralist: A rural or remote procedural GP performs the roles associated with a Rural GP. They also hold additional skills in a specialist procedural area, such as obstetrics or anaesthetics.

Rural (non-GP) Specialist: Rural Specialists usually have specialist training in an area such as General Medicine, General Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Paediatrics or Psychiatry. Some Rural Specialists reside in a rural town. Others may work on a visiting basis from a metropolitan area or another rural town.
Contact us for more information.
Last Updated: 16/05/2024