Doctors’ groups at odds over value of rural generalist training programs

A DISPUTE over rural GP training has erupted between the RACGP and rural doctors as Victoria becomes the second state to fund a “rural generalist pathway” to boost rural GP numbers.

The program, allocated $2.4 million in the Victorian Budget, will train medical graduates in rural hospital settings for hospitals and general practice. 

Run by the state’s health department in consultation with ACRRM, the program mirrors a Queensland pathway, which currently has 100 trainees. 

But RACGP president Professor Claire Jackson – whose college offers the Fellowship in Advanced Rural General Practice – has questioned the value of the pathway, saying “generalist” programs risked fragmenting training in rural general practice by producing “hospital doctors” at the expense of GP numbers.

RDA Victoria  president Dr Mike Moynihan denied the pathway only produced hospital doctors, saying