A uniquely Australian remote GP training program is now recruiting doctors for 32 rural, remote and First Nations communities in 2022 – from the Uluru community of Mutitjulu, in the vast Red Centre, to Badu Island in the Torres Strait – and in doing so, helping to break Australia’s infamous ‘tyranny of distance’.
Funded by the Australian Government, the Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS) has been training doctors across rural and remote Australia for over 20 years.
In that time, it has supported more than 400 doctors who have delivered primary health care in over 300 communities, many of which have struggled for years to recruit a local GP.
“Our remote training program is a direct response to the ‘tyranny of distance’ that has such a powerful impact on life in the Australian bush” RVTS CEO, Dr Pat Giddings, said.
“The beauty of our training model is that doctors don’t need to leave their rural and remote communities to undertake their specialist GP training.
“This means they can continue to provide the quality medical care that their communities need, while still completing their training and gaining access to the latest advances in rural General Practice.
“It really is a win-win situation for the doctors and their communities.”
Under the RVTS model, doctors access the latest evidence-based learning via intensive workshops, online training, webinars, and regular interaction with experts in the field.
There are two entry pathways into RVTS training:
Doctors can apply directly to RVTS via an annual intake for its Remote Stream or Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) Stream – access to this pathway requires the doctor to already be working in their rural, remote or First Nations community.
Alternately, doctors can access the training program via RVTS’s Targeted Recruitment, where the doctor elects to move to a community where there is a significant medical workforce shortage.
Since the commencement of its Targeted Recruitment pilot in 2018, RVTS has assisted the recruitment of 15 doctors to locations with high medical workforce need across Australia – and in so doing, has supported 20 communities including five Aboriginal Medical Services.
“This success has been recognised, with the Federal Government recently announcing much welcome additional funding to expand our Targeted Recruitment pilot” Dr Giddings said.
“In 2022, we are offering places across 32 locations for RVTS training, including 10 locations that will be filled via our Targeted Recruitment.
“While Round 1 applications for our Remote and AMS streams closed recently, we will offer a second round of applications from 30 August to 12 September. Applications for our Targeted Recruitment will remain open until all places are filled.
“We urge any doctors who would like to undertake their specialist GP qualification in a uniquely
Australian location, with great training support, to apply now for a place with RVTS!”
A total of 32 doctors commenced RVTS training for their specialist qualification in General Practice in 2021. Read more about some of the doctors via the individual media releases in the section above