Tasmanian Rural Generalist Pathway Newsletter - Edition 21

Tasmanian Rural Generalist Program

Tasmanian Rural Health Conference 2019

23-24 March 2019, Medical Science Precinct, Hobart

In This Edition:

  • Introducing the new Director - Rural Pathways, Dr Peter Arvier
  • Tasmanian Rural Health Conference 2019 #TRHC19
  • #TRHC19 Guest Speaker: Sir Harry Burns
  • CONGRATULATIONS to Dr Emma Buckner
  • Tasmanian Rural Doctor of the Year – Nomination Call
  • Tasmanian Health Pathways for Alcohol and Other Drugs
  • RACGP Foundation Grants 2019
  • Have you completed your FACRRM or FARGP in Tasmania?
  • Current Vacancies
  • Events - 2019

Introducing the new Director - Rural Pathways, Dr Peter Arvier

Welcome to the first edition of the Tasmanian Rural Generalist Pathways Newsletter for 2019, and an introduction to all of you in my capacity as the new Director - Rural Pathways. In this role, I will still liaise closely with Allison Turnock as she takes on an expanded range of responsibilities in the role of Medical Director – GP and Primary Care.

My clinical background in Tasmania has been largely in Emergency Medicine although I have also worked as a Rural Generalist for a number of years in rural Queensland and Canada with additional skills in emergency medicine, anaesthetics and surgery.

I have also worked for UTAS for a number of years in teaching, mentoring and developing innovative programs for Rural Clinical School students. My research interests relate to developing sustainable and innovative workforce solutions for rural communities and I completed a research Masters degree with UTAS in 2007 on the non-specialist emergency medicine workforce in Australia.

My other significant medical related work is my involvement with the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) which relates to curriculum development, teaching, mentoring, assessing and remediation of the emergency medicine component of that College’s Fellowship program.

I’m also a farmer, volunteer firefighter and keen recreational cyclist.

The big challenges I see for the Tasmanian Rural Generalist Pathway (TRGP) include:

  • Funding for the TRGP
  • The availability of rural generalist career opportunities in Tasmania for doctors completing this training pathway
  • Commitment to a rural generalist model of care in appropriately selected communities
  • Securing dedicated rural generalist training positions in Tasmanian hospitals, so trainees can receive both their mandatory hospital training and their additional skills posts here

On the other hand, there are some fantastic opportunities and resources out there, including:

  • The enthusiastic rural medical generalist practitioners in Tasmania
  • Innovative programs like the Centre for Antarctic, Remote and Maritime Medicine (CARMM)
  • The excellent Tasmanian hospital infrastructure
  • The bipartisan support for the National Rural Generalist Pathway, with the Commonwealth Department of Health being directed to take responsibility for progressing elements of the National Rural Health Commissioners advice

I hope to get around the state over the next few months to meet as many of you as possible, and look at ways we can work together to progress the TRGP in Tasmania.

Lastly, I commend to you the upcoming Tasmanian Rural Health Conference, which is an annual event jointly hosted by the Rural Generalist Coordinating Council and the Rural Doctors Association of Tasmania (RDAT). This event will be held in Hobart on 23-24 March 2019 and has a terrific program of presentations, workshops and procedural skill training. The theme is Teamwork in Rural Practice. More information in our updated program, or on Facebook.

- Dr Peter Arvier

Tasmanian Rural Health Conference 2019 #TRHC19

The registration webpage has been updated with an exciting program for you to consider:

  • Introducing the Centre of Antarctic Remote and Maritime Medicine, including a video link to Dr Meg McKeown in Antarctica!
  • Including your requests from 2018: 
    • The GP college sessions will be held at separate times.
    • More paediatrics! Dr Jess Andrewartha is coming back to talk ‘Seal Barks and Wheezy Squawks: A Guide to Croup and Bronchiolitis’; Dr Faline Howes and team about meningococcal and pertussis; and Dr Jane Cooper about ‘Complex Adolescent Presentations in Primary Care - a team-based approach’.
    • Dr Amy Imms is running a self-care workshop called ‘Burnout: Everyone Needs A Plan’.
  • The Alcohol and Drug Service team will present ‘Identifying and Managing Complex Clinical Scenarios in Alcohol or Other Drugs,’ and the Huon Valley Health Service will talk about their Multi-Disciplinary Community Based Pain Clinic.
  • Returning is the Rustica Skills Session with more opportunities for practical hands-on experience, and for the first time we are including a GP Research Showcase, with an opportunity for those conducting research or community projects, academic posts or thinking about doing some research to pick the brains of experienced GP researchers by presenting your ideas in a workshop.
  • RDAT are running a members forum on Saturday night before the dinner at Frogmore Creek Lounge, and GPTT are hosting a Sunday lunch meeting to show people around the GPTT offices and talk about GP selection, with applications for AGPT opening the same week as the conference.

We hope to see you on the 23rd and 24th of March! And don’t forget to build your networks!

#TRHC19 Guest Speaker: Sir Harry Burns

Sir Harry Burns is a professor of global public health and has previously been the Chief Medical Officer for Scotland. His work addresses health inequalities by focusing on how communities can create wellness. Check out his TED talk.


Emma Buckner was awarded the RDAT/ACRRM 'Future Rural Generalist' Award at the Rural Clinical School 2018 graduation dinner.

As a final year medical student, Emma was able to undertake a remote attachment at Queenstown where the experience of one-on-one teaching and the opportunity to work alongside doctors providing a broad scope or rural generalist practice made a strong impression.

A keen supporter of RUSTICA and its activities while a student, Emma also impressed her clinical teachers and supervisors with her commitment and passion for rural health.

Emma returned to NSW in 2019 to do her intern year in Newcastle with her long term aim to continue to train and work in rural communities.


Ben was awarded Intern of the Year for 2018 in recognition for his work at the North-West Regional Hospital, Mersey Community Hospital and in Queenstown as a rural primary care intern. Congratulations Ben!

Dr Emma Buckner and Dr Ben Dodds, with Dr Peter Arvier, Director - Rural Pathways (left)

Tasmanian Rural Doctor of the Year – Nomination Call

Do you know a Tasmanian Rural Doctor who deserves to be recognised for their dedication to their community or to Rural Health? Nominate them now!

Tasmanian Health Pathways for Alcohol and Other Drugs

Have your say on how the pathway can be improved for your use. Closes Feb 28.

Remember to check out the Tasmanian Health Pathways Portal for this and other pathways.

Username: connectingcare
Password: health

RACGP Foundation Grants 2019

Submit an application to be an RACGP-funded general practice researcher. Applications open on Tuesday 5 March 2019.

Have you completed your FACRRM or FARGP in Tasmania?

Don’t forget to apply for your Tasmanian Rural Generalist Pathway Certificate of Completion. The presentation dinner provides an opportunity to celebrate your achievement!

Current Vacancies

For THS Registrar Recruitment and other THS/DoH jobs, please visit www.jobs.tas.gov.au.

For GP registrar placements through GPTT, refer to the GPTT placement process information.

For GP vacancies, please visit HRPlus.

Events - 2019

Check out the Tasmanian Rural Generalist Pathway calendar for events of interest to rural practitioners.

March 22: ACCRM Rural Emergency Obstetrics Training, Hobart Special 2 for 1 deal! Contact Sean Hipkins at ACRRM.
March 23-24: Tasmanian Rural Health Conference 2019, Hobart (finishes at lunch time)
March 24-27: 15th National Rural Health Conference, Hobart (starts at 2pm)
March 28-29: ACRRM Rural Emergency Skills Training, Hobart
April 3: Implanon Practical Training Workshop, Launceston
April 5-7: Doctors for the Environment conference 2019
May 18-19: RACGP Practice Owners National Conference 2019

Note: RDAT members are eligible for the ACRRM member discount

Email sharee.taylor@health.tas.gov.au to have your event included in the calendar.