Both the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) and Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) have agreed on the following definition of what a Rural Generalist is:

 ‘A Rural Generalist is a medical practitioner who is trained to meet the specific current and future healthcare needs of Australian rural and remote communities, in a sustainable and cost-effective way by providing both comprehensive general practice and emergency care and required components of other medical specialist care in hospital and/or community settings as part of a rural healthcare team.’

The Collingrove Agreement1

Dr William Wong

Dr William Wong

So why become a Rural Generalist?

As a rural generalist you will experience a diversity of patients and scope of practice using a wider range of procedural skills working across both private practice and hospital settings. You also have the opportunity to sub-specialise in a wide variety of specialities including obstetrics, anaesthetics, mental health and many more. While doing this you can have autonomy in running your own practice and developing long term relationships with your patients. Diversity and flexibility in your work is what makes rural generalism so attractive.

Regional communities rely on their Doctors both for their health and as leaders in their communities, where they are part of the foundation that makes a sustainable thriving community. With greater flexible working hours, regional communities are great places to raise children, and explore the natural environment of South Australia and it’s many attractions.

Dr Jessica Farrar

Dr Jessica Farrar

The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine describes the competencies of a Rural Generalist Medical practitioner as:

  • Providing expert medical care in all rural contexts
  • Providing primary and secondary care
  • Respond to medical emergencies
  • Applying a population health approach
  • Work with Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and other culturally diverse communities to improve health and wellbeing
  • Practice medicine within an ethical, intellectual and professional framework; and
  • Provide safe medical care while working in geographical and professional isolation

Training in regional communities

The South Australian Rural Generalist Program (SARGP) is implementing a coordinated structured training system in regional South Australia that will allow junior medical officers to live work and train to attain fellowship with RACGP and/or ACRRM. Training networks are being set up across defined geographical areas with facilities that can support training from internship through to fellowship. Two training networks (Limestone Coast and Northern and Eyre) are currently active with others to be added as the SARGP progresses.

The training experience is designed to offer the core competencies required for FRACGP or FACRRM and an array of supports:

  • Mentoring and career advice and support
  • Training tailored to both your training needs and aspirations and the needs of the community
  • Advanced skills training in anaesthetics, obstetrics & gynaecology, paediatrics, mental health, adult internal medicine, palliative care and Emergency
  • Support for family and partners
  • Assist with access to financial supports and grant and complimentary programs
  • Ongoing monitoring and quality control of the training environment to ensure you get the best experience possible

Regional South Australia

Related topics

ACRRM – Rural Generalist Curriculum

Specific curriculum structure for rural generalist training on the ACRRM pathway

RACGP - Curriculum for Australian General Practice

Curriculum for Australian General Practice – Under Review

Workforce Incentive Program – Doctor Stream

To encourage medical practitioners to practise in rural and remote communities and promote careers in rural medicine