Most frequently asked questions

How is a Rural Generalist different to a Rural GP?

A Rural Generalist is a rural medical practitioner that has trained to meet the specific needs of rural and remote communities, provides GP and emergency care, as well as other components of medical specialist care in the hospital and community setting. RG’s must have completed training in an Advanced Skill to perform a broad range of medical services, including some skills ordinarily the province of other specialties. There is currently a review underway to recognise RGs as a sub-specialty of General Practice.

If I join this program is there a bonded return of service obligation?

There is no return of service requirements for trainees that enter the VRGP.

Does becoming a Rural Generalist limit my career options?

The role of a Rural Generalist is a rewarding and fulfilling career, but if you decide to pursue an alternate career pathway your training as a Rural Generalist will not be a disadvantage.

I'm concerned that going rural will limit my options in the future due to the limited options for clinical exposure?

Some of the best learning for junior doctors can be found in rural settings. It is important for junior doctors to develop generalist skills in their foundation training years. The nature of training in rural settings can provide increased exposure to high quality supervision, training and community models of care that may not be experienced in a metropolitan setting.

I'm a bonded scholar. Will training on a VRGP meet my return of service obligations?

The majority of VRGP training is conducted in MMM2 -MMM7 locations. If your bonded scholarship requires return of service in these locations any time spent in training will meet these requirements.

Is it possible to train part-time with the VRGP?

Similar to all junior doctor training programs, trainees can access part-time training options as a VRGP trainee.

Direct Entry, Eligibility and Application

Am I eligible to apply for direct entry into a VRGP training position?

Entry into the VRGP can be through direct entry as a RG1 or through flexible entry. Direct entry to the VRGP as a RG1 is conducted through the PMCV Intern match.

I am an interstate graduate, can I apply to join VRGP via the direct entry process?

Interstate graduates are eligible to apply, speak to us today!

I am an interstate graduate, am I eligible to apply for direct entry to the VRGP in a RG1 position?

Direct entry to the VRGP, through a RG1 position, is undertaken through the PMCV Intern Match. Refer to eligibility guidelines.

I am completing my medical degree in Australia but am not a citizen or permanent resident of Australia or New Zealand. Am I eligible to apply for direct entry to the VRGP in a RG1 position?

Direct entry to the VRGP, through a RG1 position, is undertaken through the PMCV Intern Match. Refer to eligibility guidelines.

I am completing my medical degree in Australia but am not a citizen or permanent resident of Australia or New Zealand. Am I eligible to apply for direct entry to the VRGP?

No. International Medical Graduates (IMG) wanting to undertake Rural Generalist training must first gain general registration. They can then apply for flexible entry into any available RG2 or RG Advanced positions.

I am not eligible or missed out on a position with VRGP. Can I pursue a Rural Generalist career independently?

Yes. It is possible to apply for flexible entry to the program if positions become available. VRGP can offer support and information to anyone interested in pursuing a career as a Rural Generalist by registering with the VRGP. If you have a specific region that you are interested in pursuing a RG career we can put you in contact with a VRGP Regional Coordinator.

Are there any long-term obligations once I accept a VRGP training position?

There are no long-term obligations when registering with the VRGP or accepting a VRGP position.

Can I design my own pathway or do I have to follow one of the advertised pathways?

The structure of the VRGP provides trainees with an opportunity to access the support of experienced Regional Coordinators and Clinical Leads. There are Regional Coordinators in each of the five rural regions and Clinical Leads that cover all of the RGA specialties. The VRGP staff will provide advice and information about the possible RG training and career pathway, options within the regions and how best to access the most appropriate training.

How do I apply for direct entry into VRGP?

All trainees with an interest in a RG career can register with the VRGP through an online registration process. A Regional Coordinator will contact you to provide the support you require. Entry into VRGP training can be undertaken through entry as a RG1, through the VRPA as a RG1 (intern) or through flexible entry.

What do all the different pathways mean?

Junior doctor training in the VRGP follows the same requirements as all other training programs: Intern and PGY2. As a RG trainee you will then be required to undertake training in an Advanced Skill (RGA) of your choice within a RG pathway. Following your RGA training you will also be able to access training to consolidate these skills in a RGC training position and General Practice training. The order of RG2, RGA and GP training is flexible and depends on the pathway you choose.

I've heard that if you go rural and change your mind it's impossible to get into a training program in a metropolitan hospital or a specialty other than GP. Is that true?

Most trainees that have commenced RG training in a Rural Generalist Intern Training program (RG1) have been successful when they have elected to undertake training in metropolitan locations, health settings and specialties.

What is the eligibility criteria for RG1 positions?

RG1 positions are recruited through the PMCV Intern match. The eligibility criteria can be found below.

If I apply to enter VRGP in Rural Generalist Year 1 will I be locked in?

VRGP trainees are not locked in to career pathways. The inclusion of options for multi-year training agreements into the VRGP are intended to provide certainty and stability so you can start building your life in the region where you want to work. We understand, however, that circumstances and preferences change.

If I don't get a place in RG1 when can I get onto the program?

There are multiple entry points in the VRGP. Trainees who do not enter in RG1 can engage in the program through flexible entry, which can be made at any point in the RG training pathway when a training position becomes available. Positions can become available when trainees elect to exit the program.

Is there a sufficient scope of practice and exposure to various specialties in a rural hospital for intern and PGY2 training?

Yes. Most doctors who have completed their internship in a rural hospital say they received a far greater scope of practice compared with their metropolitan peers. There is less segregation of patients in a rural hospital, which means that you will often get access to a broader range of cases than you would in a metropolitan hospital.

Are there any accommodation subsidies

In accordance with the award for doctors in training, accommodation is subsidised when you are on rotations at a location away from your employing/parent health service site. For more information on the award click here.

Is paid parental leave available?

Parental leave is the responsibility of the employing health service or General Practice. Victoria has portability of leave and entitlements when doctors are moving between health services. For more information on the award click here.

Can I train in more than one Advanced skill?

The curriculum of both ACRRM and RACGP-RG have requirements to complete training in Emergency Medicine in addition to your RGA training. An additional funded Rural Generalist Advanced training position can be accessed in accordance with the RGA guidelines. RG trainees can elect to undertake multiple Advanced skills training opportunities outside of VRGP-funded positions.

What supports and benefits are offered to trainees as part of the VRGP?

The VRGP is a well-supported Rural Generalist training program. The program provides trainees with:

Access to 35 VRGP RG1 (intern) positions across the five Victorian rural regions that include training in a General Practice setting;

Access to 35 RG2 positions in rural health services that are a part of RG training pathways;

Access to RGA training positions to fulfill the training requirements of ACRRM and RACGP-RG training;

Access to RGA training opportunities that develop the skills required to undertake the RG career of your choice;

Support from Regional Coordinators and Clinical Leads to assist you to navigate through your RG career and training journey;

Opportunities for flexible entry for current General Practitioners at any time with access to the Advanced skills training posts.

Is the VRGP a training provider?

The VRGP is a coordination unit that supports a statewide end-to-end training program for the Rural Generalist workforce to train, work and live in rural and regional Victoria. The program provides a diverse and rewarding training experience, with its long-term objective to increase employment of Rural Generalists in rural health services and communities across Victoria.