08 September 2022
Do medical students hold the solutions to addressing Australia’s GP workforce shortage?
As Australia faces a looming GP shortage, medical students are stepping up to find out why there is a decline in interest in general practice training and identify solutions for our politicians and policy makers.
The General Practice Students Network (GPSN), Australia’s largest and oldest network of GP student clubs, will this week survey medical students from across the nation’s medical schools about their opinions on general practice and how likely they are to apply to train with one of the GP colleges.
GPSN, which receives support from General Practice Registrars Australia, is a national network of medical students who are interested in choosing general practice as a medical specialty. It manages student clubs at 21 universities, promotes general practice as a specialty and organises activities to support its members, including clinical skill sessions, social events, seminars and conferences, peer support and networking opportunities.
GPSN 2022 national Chair, Ms Saleha Khan, says the network is committed to tackling the current issues facing primary health care, including the declining number of medical students who are applying to train with Australia’s GP colleges.
The Medical Students Pulse Survey will ask medical students if they are likely to apply to one of these GP colleges, what they do and don’t find appealing about the profession, and also seeks their opinion on what changes are needed to improve general practice in Australia.
“Our aim is to promote general practice as a specialty and connect students interested in this field early in their career.”
“As medical students, we are the future of the primary health system and we want to use the network to ask our fellow students what it would take for them to train as a GP.”
“We want to understand what the barriers to general practice training are from their perspective, and what needs to change in the system to increase the number of medical students interested in being general practice”
“If governments want to invest wisely, they need to hear from medical students now.”
“GPSN is a great platform to promote general practice so Australia has the primary health care services it needs. I hope that as many medical students as possible will complete the survey.”
“Attracting more doctors to the general practice training pathway is a key part of solving the shortage of GPs that we have in many parts of Australia.”
Since its inception in 2007, GPSN’s membership has grown to more than 5,000 members. About 17,000 medical students are currently enrolled at Australian universities.
The information collected will be a valuable asset for government officials and healthcare workers moving forward as we aim to address GP workforce shortages.
GPRA, Suzanne McKenzie
0400 145 224