All Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program registrars pursuing a Fellowship with the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (FACRRM), or the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners’ Rural Generalist Fellowship (FRACGP-RG), must undertake training in an advanced skill at some stage during their training.
Known as Advanced Specialised Training (AST) for ACRRM and Advanced Rural Skills Training (ARST) for FRARGP-RG, these training posts are generally a 52-week full-time term. Dual fellowship pathway registrars will undertake a single 52-week term that will count towards both fellowships.
Advanced Specialised Training (AST) with ACCRM and Advanced Rural Skills Training (ARST) with FRACGP-RG
Advanced Specialised Training (AST) is a compulsory requirement for registrars training on the ACRRM pathway. AST positions for the following training year are advertised to registrars who may then apply for a position in their preferred discipline.
Advanced Rural Skills Training (ARST) is a compulsory requirement for registrars enrolled in FRACGP-RG. FRACGP-RG is an opportunity for registrars to undertake an additional year of training in a skill pertinent to general practice in a non-urban setting. The ARST year is ideally started once registrars have completed their RACGP exams. ARST positions for the following training year are advertised to registrars who may then apply for a position in their preferred discipline.
Explore the wide range of AST/ARST areas are available.
An AST in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health provides the registrar with a broader and deeper range of knowledge and skills in areas such as cross cultural communication, public health, infectious disease and environmental health whilst caring and working in rural and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
An ARST in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health enhances registrar knowledge, skills and understanding so that they can work appropriately and effectively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people within the context of their culture, family and community.
An AST in Academic Practice is coordinated through fellowship college, providing registrars with the skills and training to improve research capacity, standards of clinical care, population health, and address the specific health needs of vulnerable communities in rural and remote Australia.
An ARST in Academic Practice is coordinated through RACGP fellowship college, providing registrars with the skills and training in primary health care research and medical education.
Rural and remote GPs are often required to diagnose and manage an extended range of adult internal medical conditions with a greater degree of independence compared to their urban counterparts.
An AST/ARST in Adult Internal Medicine provides registrars with extended clinical practice focusing on managing patients with acute complex medical and chronic disease problems including multiple morbidities and factors affected by ageing.
An AST or ARST in Mental Health provides the registrar with the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to effectively care for patients with a range of mental health issues in environments where face-to-face support from other professionals is often limited.
An AST/ARST in Obstetrics and Gynaecology extends the skills of medical practitioners to develop them to a level that will enable them to safely undertake complex deliveries and perform more advanced gynaecological procedures and neonatal resuscitation to support a birthing unit in level 3 hospital facilities in rural remote regions.
Paediatrics is a particular priority due to the frequency of presentations of paediatric patients to general practitioners in both rural and remote settings and in urban general practice. An AST or ARST in Paediatrics will provide the registrar with skills and confidence to provide acute and preventive care for children in Rural Remote setting including management of the critically ill child.
There is an imperative for delivery of population health services in rural and remote areas to address inherent health inequalities.
Registrars who do an AST in Population Health have an opportunity to improve the health of whole communities through population health approaches and are more likely to provide front-line population health services with greater autonomy and fewer resources.
The geographic, demographic, social and cultural nature of remote Australia and its inhabitants bring a range of unique challenges to the practice of remote medicine.
An AST in Remote Medicine aims to provide remote populations with appropriately trained, safe and competent general practitioners who have an interest in sustaining a working life in these environments.
There is an absence of specialist surgical services in rural and remote areas.
An AST in Surgery will provide generalist registrars training with an appropriate scope of practice required to provide general surgical skills in a range common surgical conditions likely to be encountered in most rural practice contexts taking into account the potential geographical locations and work situations of registrars during training and on completion of training and the needs arising from those locations. Along with the availability of surgical facilities and specialist support in most rural practice contexts.
An ARST in Surgery will provide the registrar with the knowledge, skills and experience that will enable a GP Surgical Proceduralist to safely provide unsupervised General Practice surgery.
Note: Training for this speciality is 24 months (2 years) in duration.
Other AST disciplines are available as approved by the College. Please visit the ACRRM website for more information.
James Cook University (JCU) General Practice and Rural Medicine supports and encourages all interested RACGP registrars to enrol in the Rural Generalist Fellowship. For more information on Rural Generalist Fellowship including discipline curricula, please visit the RACGP website.
How to apply for an AST/ARST term
The application process to undertake an AST/ARST term varies depending on the discipline selected.
RMO AST/ARST hospital training posts in northern and regional Queensland:
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health - Mount Isa
Emergency Medicine - Cairns, Townsville, Mount Isa, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Mackay, Hervey Bay, Bundaberg
Palliative Care - Townsville
Surgery - Rockhampton, Mackay, Bundaberg
General Practice and Rural Medicine GP placement process for community-based disciplines:
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health
AST/ARST community training posts in northern and regional Queensland
Community-based AST/ARST training posts are typically organised through the General Practice and Rural Medicine annual GP placements process. Discipline options for community-based AST/ARSTs include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, Population Health, Remote Medicine, Academic Practice and others as determined by JCU General Practice and Rural Medicine. Please note the following:
AST/ARST opportunities exist throughout the northern and regional Queensland region.
Available through JCU General Practice and Rural Medicine at these regions: Cape and Torres, Tablelands, Cairns, Townsville, North West Queensland, Central Queensland, Mackay, Wide Bay.
Academic Practice can be undertaken from any community practice location in the northern and regional Queensland region and has additional funding provided by RACGP and/or ACRRM. Please visit the relevant college website for more information on application deadlines.
Available through JCU General Practice and Rural Medicine at these regions: Cairns, Townsville, Mackay.
AST can be undertaken at any community practice location that is already accredited for ACRRM Core Generalist Training - PRRT terms.
Available through JCU General Practice and Rural Medicine at these regions: Cape and Torres, North West Queensland, Central West Queensland, Central Queensland, Wide Bay, South West Queensland.
Available through JCU General Practice and Rural Medicine at these regions: Cape and Torres, North West Queensland, Central West Queensland.
If the location you are interested in does not appear above, please contact your local Medical Educator to discuss the possibility of obtaining the appropriate accreditation.