About the program
In this article
VRGP offers trainees the certainty of a defined and supported training pathway all the way through to Fellowship, in the region of their choice. The Regional Coordinators will assist trainees to navigate their training pathway and provide career support throughout their training journey and into employment in rural generalist (RG) positions in their region. All program participants must demonstrate rural career intentions and be enrolled in, intending to or in the process of enrolling in, general practice training or have current registration as a General Practitioner.
From 2021 candidates going into the VRGP in Rural Generalist 1 (intern) year will be offered multiyear regional contracts that provide them with the first three years of the pathway, Rural Generalist 1, Rural Generalist 2 (PGY2) and Rural Generalist Advanced (Advanced Skills/Advanced Rural Skills) training. During Rural Generalist 1 or Rural Generalist 2 trainees will need to apply into the accredited GP training program of their choice with the college of their choice.
There will also be opportunities to enter the program 'laterally' into Rural Generalist 2, or Rural Generalist Advanced positions.
The VRGP supports flexibility and part-time training options. If these are needed Regional Coordinators will work with trainees and health services to find workable solutions.
The VRGP is new and developing program which will be continually improving. There will be several new developments being implemented over the 2020-2021 training years to further strengthen the program keep up to date by following us on Facebook, Twitter or this website.
The VRGP is a state-wide end-to-end Rural Generalist training program that allows the future rural generalist workforce to train, work and live in rural and regional Victoria. In addition to providing a diverse and rewarding training experience, the long-term objective of the VRGP is to increase the employment of rural generalists in rural health services and communities across Victoria. Key program documents and official updates can be found here.
The Department of Health and Human Services (the department), the GP colleges, regional and rural health services and general practices have all been supporting various rural medical workforce programs and training for rural generalists for many years and all play an integral role to ensure the trainee achieves their goal of becoming a Rural Generalist.
The following programs have been merged into the Victorian Rural Generalist Program:
|Former program name||Victorian Rural Generalist Program|
Rural Community Intern
- Echuca Intern Network
- Grampians Rural Community Intern Program
- Murray to Mountains Intern Program
- South West Community Intern Program
Rural Generalist Year 1
| - Victorian General Practitioner: Rural Generalist program|
- Rural Extended and Advanced Procedural Skills program
|Rural Generalist Advanced|
|Consolidation of Skills program||Rural Generalist Consolidation|
The ACRRM and the RACGP, with assistance from the National Rural Health Commissioner jointly submitted the first stage application to the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) for the recognition of Rural Generalist Medicine as a speciality practice field within the speciality of General Practice in December 2019. The MBA has delegated the assessment of the application to the Australian Medical Council (AMC) who are expected to make recommendations to the MBA in the next few months. Should it be successful, the application will progress to the second stage of the assessment process which will include a more extensive consultation and assessment process expected to take some 18 months.
While there is already an extensive trained RG workforce, its sustainability and growth continue to be frustrated by its lack of formal status within the nation’s health systems. The attainment of recognition of the specialist field is viewed as a necessary step toward a robust national RG workforce.
The application process represents the actioning of a key recommendation of the National Rural Generalist Taskforce Report presented to Minister of Rural Health at the end of 2018. It is a key element of the implementation of a NRGP - that is a well-supported and coordinated national training and career pathway for a national RG workforce.
The states have been given responsibility for implementing the national rural generalist pathway in their jurisdiction. For Victoria this is the VRGP.
In February 2020, Minister for Regional Health, Hon Mark Coulton also announced the ACRRM will deliver Australia’s first government-funded specialist Rural Generalist (RG) training program. The RG100 program, is the latest step in the Government’s commitment to implement a National Rural Generalist Pathway. It will fund 100 training places on the ACRRM Fellowship (FACRRM) program in areas of workforce need and be implemented in 2021.
VRGP trainees entering the program from RG1 will be able to choose to apply for the RG100 program as their accredited GP training program. RG100 trainees not starting out on VRGP in RG1 will be able to apply for lateral entry into VRGP for their RG Advanced training.