GP training benefits from cross-border collaboration

  • Photo credit: NTGPE, Ali Curung Clinic and Elcho Island Clinic, NT
Elcho Island Clinic, NT. Photo: Northern Territory General Practice Education

A partnership between general practice Regional Training Organisations in South Australia and the Northern Territory will see GP registrars temporarily crossing the border as part of their training in the general practice specialty. The partnership between Northern Territory General Practice Education (NTGPE) and South Australia’s GPEx will improve access to urban, remote and very remote training posts for GP registrars.

At this stage, five GP registrars will be offered a six-month placement in the reciprocal state or territory. Building on GPEx’ strong practice network, additional practices have been engaged to facilitate this outcome.

NTGPE boasts some of the most interesting training opportunities in Australia, particularly in remote or very remote placements. The existing relationship with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services provides a training ground that offers GP registrars exposure to the realities of practicing medicine in Aboriginal communities.

“This aligns well with our vision to work collaboratively with stakeholders to maximise opportunities around rural and Indigenous pathways,” says Christine Cook, Chief Executive Officer of GPEx.

The partnership between the two RTOs came about after they discussed how they could help ease placement pressures and increase opportunities for GP registrars to use their training to make a real difference to local communities.

As part of their training, registrars are required to complete Aboriginal health training. Immersion in a very remote placement will give GP registrars’ the opportunity to broaden their medical experience under close supervision, leading to increased cultural awareness when consulting with Aboriginal patients. 

“GPEx and NTGPE have been able to capitalise on each other’s strengths to offer the best possible training experience for our GP registrars” said Christine Heatherington-Tait, the Executive Manager of Education and Support at NTGPE.

For further information on this partnership, please contact GPEx on (08) 8490 0400 or NTGPE on (08) 8946 7079.

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