1. Become a GP
  2. Be a rural generalist

Be a rural generalist

Being a rural generalist offers you end-to-end training and a rewarding, challenging career.

The road to rural generalism

Rural generalism provides registrars with a supportive, end-to-end training pathway, providing a stimulating, diverse and intellectually challenging general practice career.

The rural generalist pathway is aimed at ensuring that the more rural and remote areas in Victoria have the services of well-trained rural generalist GPs with advanced skills training, who can safely manage more complex presentations within their chosen specialty fields.

Once fellowed (qualified), a rural generalist will provide care to patients in GP clinics, together with advanced care in their chosen specialty and may also work in a Victorian rural or regional health service as a visiting medical practitioner. Rural communities rely on these highly-skilled GPs to manage and support their healthcare.

You will need to train under one of the GP colleges, RACGP (FARGP) or ACRRM, (all ACRRM trainees fellow as RGs) applying through the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program, but you can take an early step and apply to the Victorian Rural Generalist Program (VRGP).

The VRGP is a state-wide, end-to-end rural generalist training program that allows you to train, work and live in rural and regional Victoria. The program offers tailored end-to-end support from intern to fellow and beyond, with preferential matching, funding and case management.

Why be a rural generalist

Dr Angela Stratton is a rural generalist at the Mount Beauty Medical Centre and Visiting Medical Officer at Alpine Health and Albury Wodonga Health. She talks about being a rural generalist in her latest RWAV podcast here.

Angela worked previously as a GP Obstetrician for Albury-Wodonga Health and has a special interest and training in Alpine Medicine, working as part of the Falls Creek Medical Centre team during winter. She is passionate about rural medical education and training and is an enthusiastic supervisor of medical students, interns and GP/RG registrars. Angela is also part of ACRRM’s exam and REST instructor team.

What are the benefits?

Being a rural generalist has many career and lifestyle benefits. Living and working in a rural community enables you to feel part of a supportive environment and gives you a wonderful family lifestyle and opportunities to participate in activities you won’t find in the city.

  • Develop additional skills, both procedural and non-procedural
  • Supportive career pathway with medical specialists from your chosen specialty
  • Certainty of employment from intern to fellowship
  • Priority practice placement
  • Manage patients in hospital
  • Gain experience in hospital emergency departments
  • Medical workforce networking
  • Be a highly-valued member of a warm, welcoming community
  • Lifestyle advantages for your family
  • Affordable housing
  • Diverse outdoor leisure, sporting and tourism options
  • No traffic snarls or busy commutes.

How does the AGPT rural generalist pathway work?

The rural generalist pathway varies in length of training, depending on year of entry and specialty field.

You would do a year of hospital practice, two years of community general practice as a GP rural generalist trainee, a year of advanced skills training in a chosen specialty and a year of support to consolidate advanced skills while working or continuing to train in general practice. There is flexibility to enter later in general practice training if eligible candidates are identified and positions are available. You can also enter early, before you join the AGPT program through VRGP (see above).

This pathway provides opportunities for training in several specialty areas including anaesthetics, obstetrics and gynaecology, mental health, palliative care, paediatrics and emergency medicine. The training that GP trainees undertake during their 12 month AST/ARST year will be in a larger regional health service which is accredited to provide this pathway. However on fellowship, it is likely they will practice in a more rural or remote community to utilise their new skill.

More information

  • Specific rural generalist FAQs here
  • Rural generalist flyer and pathway here
  • See our rural generalist handbook here.