Featured News New doctors for regional Queensland

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Mon, 23 Jan 2017

New doctors for regional Queensland

Queensland’s medical workforce is growing with the appointment of approximately 160 additional doctors to various locations throughout much of the state, as part of the Australian General Practice Training Program (AGPT).

AGPT is a Commonwealth program that enables the training of Registrars in General Practice across nine regional programs.

One of those regional programs, Generalist Medical Training (GMT) is part of the James Cook University College of Medicine and Dentistry. GMT provides postgraduate education and training for doctors specialising in General Practice.

GMT is accountable for 90% of the geographic area of Queensland, including all of regional Queensland apart from the Gold Coast and Darling Downs.

“GMT has coordinated the placement of new doctors from Mt. Isa to Maroochydore and Cairns to Cloncurry,” GMT Director, Associate Professor Peta-Ann Teague, said. “These doctors are training to be specialist General Practitioners.”

Two to three-day introductory workshops are taking place in four centres across GMT's allocated region from today. Although the participants will be based in centres across the state, their training will take place in Hervey Bay, Cairns, Townsville and the Sunshine Coast.

"Our training program prepares and inspires the next generation of my colleagues to work as GPs who will improve our community’s health outcomes,” Associate Professor Teague said.

"The natural, picturesque setting of regional Queensland is just one of many drawcards attracting junior doctors to our training program,” she said.

“We dedicate time and resources to matching applicants with training posts that will benefit their careers as well as the community. The training posts in the GMT region provide the opportunity to develop an extended scope of practice that goes beyond urban, office-based general practice."

Medical graduates typically undertake four years of post-graduate training to be registered as a specialist GP, with either a Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) or a Fellowship of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM).

The 23 GPs attending the Sunshine Coast induction on Monday are commencing placements for a minimum of six months.

While some will be based in the local area, including Noosa and Coolum, others will be working in towns designated as Districts of Workforce Shortage, such as Innisfail in the state’s far north, and Maleny.

At these workshops the GPs will cover requirements of the training programs, information about Medicare and resources within GMT. These workshops will also give them an opportunity to meet their training supervisors, mentors and colleagues, as well as the support staff from GMT.

Dr Nick Hummel, GMT’s Deputy Director Medical Educator, is also owner of Ochre Health Medical Centre Noosa.

“All of these doctors face a rewarding and challenging year ahead as they learn to navigate their important new roles and further develop their skills and general practitioners,” he said.

“The region GMT covers offers doctors opportunities to gain broad general experience with patients from a wide range of different backgrounds.

“GMT is focused on attracting resourceful, agile, inventive and altruistic doctors who are looking to serve their communities through truly patient-centred care,” he said.

For more information about Generalist Medical Training: