Dr Lauren Christian and Dr Joseph Snyder outside Whyalla Hospital & Health Service

Dr Lauren Christian and Dr Joseph Snyder outside Whyalla Hospital & Health Service

Dedicated rural generalist training networks

High functioning/quality fit for purpose rural generalist training programs support the establishment and maintenance of both a strong primary and secondary health care system that will provide better population health and distribution (equity) and improved economy in the use of resources.

Communities will realise

  • Enhanced viability of rural general practice that supports the delivery of local hospital services
  • Improved attractiveness of rural career pathways that are visible, recognised, and valued increasing access and retention of a skilled workforce
  • Improved business models for specialised services that rural generalists provide
  • Improved quality and range of medical services provided locally to meet community need
  • Improved connection between primary care and secondary care

Regional local health networks will realise

  • A stronger primary care system prevents illness and maintenance of good health reducing the burden on hospitals and other medical resources
  • An increase in supply of rural generalists to meet workforce needs
  • Improvements in collective and manageable workloads, job satisfaction leading to increased attraction and retention of doctors to rural areas
  • Improved clinical leadership capability and overall coordination of regional health services
  • Improved overall health system performance and population health including:
    • Improved consumer-centred care
    • Improved health system functioning across the continuum of care
    • Improved efficiency of care

Dr Isabelle Gill treating a patient at Southern Fleurieu Health Service

Dr Isabelle Gill treating a patient at Southern Fleurieu Health Service

End to end training networks

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.

See where you can access rural medical training in South Australia

The Rural Generalist Program South Australia’s interactive map shows the training sites across South Australia where training opportunities exist. Each site may have multiple training opportunities or rotations across the different training levels.

Expanding training options

SA now has three established training networks, Limestone Coast Training Network (Limestone Coast LHN), Northern and Eyre Training Network (Flinders Upper North LHN and Eyre and Far North LHN) and Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network’s Riverland Academy of Clinical Excellence.

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.

The video (left) – Life in rural South Australia with Flinders University Rural Training Pathway for Medicine offers a snap shot of rural training across Riverland Mallee Coorong, Barossa Hills Fleurieu and Limestone Coast through Flinders University Rural and Remote Health SA. Or visit the University of Adelaide’s Rural Clinical School if you would like to consider rural training across the Eyre and Northern regions of South Australia.

Flinders University Rural and Remote Health SA

Adelaide University Rural Clinical School


Where would you like to train?

You can also learn more about our regional local health networks through the Working in regional South Australia site.