Where to after fellowship?

General practice gives you the freedom to follow your passions, subspecialise and design the career that’s right for you. Here are just some of the directions you may like to explore.

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners... Fellows of the RACGP must undertake Quality Improvement and Continuing Professional Development (QI&CPD). The college’s program is run over a three-year period during which the minimum requirements of the program must be achieved. Members of the RACGP receive free access to the QI&CPD program. For non-members, there is an annual fee. Their gplearning website is an interactive GP education platform.

Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine... ACRRM members with vocational recognition/registration are required to obtain a minimum of 100 points over a three-year cycle of the professional development program. The ACRRM Professional Development Program gives fellows and other members of the college reliable access to a program geared to meet the diverse needs of practitioners working in rural and remote Australian communities.

Research... the RACGP Research Foundation and The National Health and Medical Research Council provide GPs with research grants, scholarships and awards.

Teaching... regional training providers (RTP) provide training for GP supervisors which includes being a teacher, collaborative learner, coach and role model as well as the professional and ethical aspects of the role. There is also the option to explore teaching medical students in the university environment. While within the practice, there is the opportunity to be part of programs that offer medical students and prevocational doctors a taste of general practice.

Working overseas... The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners (RNZCGP) recognises general practice experience in Australia as being comparable to that in New Zealand for the purpose of training. This assists with registration, and if you are an Australian citizen you can live and work in New Zealand without a work permit.
Fellowship of the RACGP is recognised in Ireland, Hong Kong and Malaysia. However, some colleges require additional assessment prior to working in those countries.

Aid organisations... Médecins Sans Frontières, Red Cross and many other organisations need doctors to assist with emergency and ongoing work in communities in need around the world.

International medical assistance organisations...These companies provide services to travellers and expatriates. Employment opportunities include working on teams recovering and repatriating patients to a medical facility or their home country, practising in clinics that serve expatriate communities and medical leadership positions.

Aboriginal health... Aboriginal health is part of the training program for all GP registrars. Training posts in Aboriginal primary health care offer unique and challenging opportunities, and allow prevocational doctors to play a hands-on role in improving access, and preventing and managing chronic disease in the Aboriginal community.

Sports medicine... If you are interested in getting out of the practice setting and onto the field, and have a particular bent towards musculoskeletal injuries and exercise medicine, sports medicine could be for you. You could be providing care for anyone, from elite athletes through to weekend warriors or the non-exercising person wanting to improve their exercise level or deal with an injury.

Military medicine... Training as a GP registrar in the Australian Defence Force offers opportunities and challenges. There is a focus on emergency medicine and similar skills to rural general practice, including self-sufficiency in remote locations.

Academic posts/research... Teaching and research can expand your career path in general practice. Research enables you to develop valuable skills to take into your clinical work and could act as a stepping-stone towards an academic career. There is widespread agreement that research in general practice is essential for the improvement of patient health care outcomes.

Rural general practice... Doctors undertaking general practice training usually spent some time working in rural areas. Many find the challenging variety of work as a rural GP to be particularly inspiring, and stay on in their communities. As a rural GP registrar, there is a diverse range of presentations to challenge you and opportunities to broaden your clinical skills.

Part-time options... The part-time training options and parental leave available to GP registrars make general practice training flexible and family-friendly. The flexibility of general practice when it comes to working hours is one of the reasons many people choose it as their career path. Flexible working hours are ideal for those with children, and can also give registrars the freedom to take up opportunities such as becoming a Registrar Liaison Officer (RLO), or taking on an academic post.

Dr Matt Despot talks about how general practice in Australia is changing and what you need to know