South Australia has defined Local Health Network (LHN) structure, each with a range of geographical, demographical and population variables. Each LHN also has a varying capacity to train junior doctors across the different stages of training.
An end to end training network considers the above variables and provides training structures for the key stages of rural generalist training allowing trainees to live, train and work in a particular geographically co-located area. Training networks may not directly align to a particular LHN but may utilise training capacity across LHN boundaries. This will enable trainees to establish links with the Community while they are training and enable better transition of them to the local workforce post training.
Training structures are the mechanism that allows medical trainees to complete the key stages of training (the pathway to fellowship) regardless of the fellowship they are training towards. These structures provide definition to trainees on how they can navigate their training from start to finish.
Below are some of the examples of existing training structures in SA:
- Internship – a defined structure enables interns complete the General Registration requirements.
- General Training – a rotational structure where PGY2+ trainees gain a general clinical experience prior to applying and entering a specialty training program. This is also currently the first stage of Rural Generalist training.
- Surgical RMO – a structure that trainees who wish to pursue a career in surgery must do and they access purely surgical rotations. This enables them to complete their JDocs requirements.
- Paediatrics RMO – a structure that trainees who wish to pursue a career in Paediatrics and work purely across Paediatrics gaining specific experience to assist/enable them to enter Paediatrics training.
SA has two established training networks, Limestone Coast Training Network (Limestone Coast LHN) and Northern and Eyre Training Network (Flinders Upper North LHN and Eyre and Far North LHN) that will be joined by Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network’s Riverland Academy of Clinical Excellence in 2022.
These networks offer in a geographically co-located area internship, general training and primary care training structures as well as advanced skill training opportunities.
Barossa Hills Fleurieu and Yorke and Northern Local Health Networks are beginning the expansion of training through the increase of rural rotations offered through the metropolitan local health networks and the Road to Rural (R2R) program.
Further Training Networks over these other regional areas will be developed as the program expands.