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Record number of training positions for aspiring rural doctors

Photo: Record number of training positions for aspiring rural doctors
This year, more than 50 Rural Generalist Training positions are being offered across NSW through the NSW Rural Generalist Medical Training Program managed by the Health Education and Training Institute (HETI).

Applications are now open to junior doctors seeking careers as Rural Generalist Practitioners with advanced skills in the areas of mental health, obstetrics, paediatrics and more.

HETI’s NSW Rural Generalist Medical Training Program plays a key role in developing a medical workforce with advanced skills to service almost two million people who call rural and regional NSW home.

“This program works in close partnership with Local Health Districts and rural health services, who provide the training and support for the advanced skills trainees,” said Adjunct Professor, Annette Solman, Chief Executive of HETI.
“This collaborative approach is a key strength of the program which equips Rural Generalist Practitioners with essential advanced skills that enable rural communities to access health care close to home,” she said.

Since its inception in 2013, more than 160 trainees have joined the Program with graduates and current trainees offering their advanced skills to rural communities across the State – from anaesthetic services in the Murrumbidgee region, to palliative care on the Mid North Coast. 

The advanced skills training pathways available for the 2019 clinical year are:
• Anaesthetics
• Emergency Medicine/Obstetrics
• Emergency Medicine
• Mental Health
• Obstetrics
• Paediatrics
• Palliative Care

An Emergency Medicine advanced skills pathway is being offered for the first time this year in response identified needs. Emergency Medicine positions are available across the State - from Grafton to Griffith.

Advanced skills training is provided within accredited regional NSW Health facilities and is integrated as part of general practice training in a rural area.

”Successful completion of the advanced skills training year will result in a qualification supporting credentialing in that discipline, within NSW Health as a Rural Generalist/Rural General Practitioner,” explains Dr Kathleen Atkinson, NSW State-wide Training Director of the Rural Generalist Medical and General Practitioner Procedural Training Programs .

“As well as enjoying the community engagement of rural life, Rural Generalist Practitioners are exposed to a wide, varied and interesting range of clinical practice,” Dr Atkinson added.

As a local of the Mid North Coast, Dr Kyle Links was attracted to undertaking advanced skills training in palliative care through the NSW Rural Generalist Medical Training Program because it enabled him to further his clinical study while remaining close to home.

“The great thing about the Program is the flexibility and the fact it allowed me to do my advanced skills training at the Coffs Harbour Health Campus,” Dr Kyle Links said.

Similarly, the flexibility offered by the Program was one of the reasons it appealed to graduate Dr Luke Manestar-Forde – as was the support and coordinated approach offered by HETI.

“Having a professional body to guide you through Rural Generalist training, and give you support along the way is extremely useful,” Dr Manestar-Forde said.

For more information on the NSW Rural Generalist Medical Training Program please visit heti.nsw.gov.au/rgtp. Applications for direct entry to the advanced skills training year are currently open for junior doctors PGY2 and above. Applications are accepted via the NSW JMO Recruitment portal eRecruit.

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