What to consider before general practice

While life for the next while may become a blur with hospital rotations, here are some simple things you can do in preparation for becoming a GP registrar.

1. Talk to a GP or GP registrar

Ask them about their training, their career, their practice and for any advice. They may be able to give you insider knowledge on general practice as an industry and profession, advice on training and preparing for the fellowship exams and more.

2. Think about where you would like to work as a GP registrar or GP

This includes thinking about what area of general practice interests you, as your clinic’s location may determine the types of patients you may typically see (for example, there are places in Australia with a high refugee population, or a high elderly population, or an area with mothers and young children).

3. Research the pathways into general practice and the differences between the Fellowships offered by the two medical colleges

Think about the different pathways into general practice and which fellowship is right for you. If you graduated from an Australian university with an MBBS, you may want to apply for the AGPT program. Ensure you do not miss any of the application dates. Decide if you would like to practise in a metropolitan clinic, or a rural or remote area, as this will affect which Fellowship and medical college you choose.

4. Research each Regional Training Organisation

Each Regional Training Organisation (RTO) offers different options as to how your training is delivered, and where your training is delivered. RTOs deliver training in set regional areas, so think about where you would like to live and work.

5. Think about any extended skills you would like

Think about extended skills you would like to develop in your GP training and if these skills would suit your goals and clinical interests. Extended skills terms are negotiated between you and your RTO, so make sure your preferred RTO is able to arrange your desired extended skills term.

6. Remember to take breaks

Relax and celebrate the small wins along the journey to general practice!