The Australian Medical Association Limited and state AMA entities comply with the Privacy Act 1988. Please refer to the AMA Privacy Policy to understand our commitment to you and information on how we store and protect your data.

×

Search

×
14 Mar 2018

BY DR SANDRA HIROWATARI, CHAIR, AMA COUNCIL OF RURAL DOCTORS

We are on the cusp of formulating a National Rural Generalist program. The questions that float to the top are enough to give you a booming headache:

  • What is the difference between a Rural Generalist and a Rural proceduralist?
  • Has the definition of a Rural Generalist been agreed upon?
  • Can we call them specialists?
  • Are specialists feeling threatened?
  • The Cairns consensus Statement for Rural Generalism has not fully been accepted, why not?
  • How can we in Outback tell they are Generalists? Will the credentialing and titles be clear?
  • What if there are 6 minute medicine GPs in the Rural location where they desperately need an extended skills generalist? What then?
  • Will we lose the newly trained generalist to urban practices?
  • Do we need Generalists in the cities?
  • Medical bonding is going nowhere, what is going to happen with bonding with the Generalist program?
  • How can the training of Rural Specialists be tied into the training of a Rural Generalist?
  • Where do Allied health Rural generalists fit in?
  • We know Queensland has the most developed Rural Generalist program, which State or Territory is lagging behind? Why?
  • There are too many FACEMs without jobs so why are we training Rural Generalists with ED extended skills? Why not get the FACEMs outback?
  • Will the Rural Generalist training positions boot out regular GP trainees and specialist trainees from training in the rural facilities?
  • How many do we need?
  • How many per State and Territory?
  • What about the current Rural Generalists without the formal recognition, will they be grandfathered in?
  • How can a fellowed GP become a Rural Generalist?
  • Are we setting a precedent with our program? Has it been done internationally?  Will the world follow us?
  • How does private procedural practice fit in?
  • In some locations, training capacity and procedural opportunities are squeezed by IMGs and / or procedural specialists and their registrars - how do we ensure that there is a future for the rural generalist in ED, Obs and Anaesthetics especially?
  • We now see the Colleges having a greater role in training, the universities having the regional training hubs, the RTOs delivering GP training including rural procedural terms, and the state health departments funding the hospital training terms - looks like a recipe for trouble! How do we sort it out? 

I do not have the answers but your answers and comments need to be communicated to the Rural Health Commissioner. Have compassion for him and hope he can tolerate the headaches. 


Published: 14 Mar 2018