If you are a little confused about how general practice training works, that is probably because it is organised very differently to any other medical vocational training program in Australia.
How is general practice training different?
Most medical vocational training programs in Australia are run by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM). The colleges select applicants, provide training material, play a part in organising educational activities and set training standards and examinations. Registrars of other specialties work in the hospital system under the supervision of consultants.
The two colleges are not responsible for all aspects of general practice training. Other than the initial year of hospital terms, general practice training occurs mostly in an accredited private practice setting with an experienced GP supervisor.
Australian general practice training
The main pathway into general practice training is through the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program, which is managed and funded through General Practice Education and Training (GPET) and delivered through regional training providers (RTPs). The vocational endpoints of the AGPT program are Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (FRACGP) and Fellowship of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (FACRRM).
Remote vocational training scheme
For those wishing to train in isolated rural locations, there is an alternative training program to the AGPT – the Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS). This program is funded by the Commonwealth Government. The vocational endpoints of the RVTS program are FRACGP and FACRRM.
The Independent Pathway is a full-fee paying program offered by ACRRM that allows experienced Australian and overseas trained doctors a flexible pathway towards Fellowship of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (FACRRM).
The Specialist Pathway is offered by the RACGP and ACRRM. It provides a pathway for doctors who do not hold current Australian medical registration but have recognised general practice qualifications from overseas countries deemed comparable to Australian standards.
What is the role of the two colleges of general practice?
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), set training standards, administer examinations and assessments, accredit training placements and sign off on completion of training by GP registrars.
Attainment of the FRACGP or FACRRM is necessary to become vocationally registered (VR) for independent general practice in Australia under the Medicare system. Having VR status also gives GPs access to higher Medicare rebates.
What is general practice registrars Australia?
General Practice Registrars Australia (GPRA) is a not-for-profit organisation that represents GP registrars during their training years and promotes general practice to medical students and prevocational doctors.