Tasmanian Rural Generalist Pathway Newsletter Edition 23 (June-July 2019)

Tasmanian Rural Generalist Program

Tasmanian Rural Health Conference, 28-29 March 2020 in Burnie (North West)

In This Edition:

  • Meet Dr Trent Carr
  • Formal application for national recognition of Rural Generalist Medicine
  • Planning for Tas Rural Conference 2020
  • Developing new RG posts in Adult Internal Medicine
  • TRGP scholarships
  • Credentialing of GPs in THS facilities
  • Changes to ACRRM StAMPS requirements
  • Upcoming Events – 2019/2020

Meet the future Tasmanian Rural Generalists

Commencing with this newsletter, in each edition we will feature a short piece on one of the doctors on the RG pathway in Tasmania.

This edition, we hear from Dr Trent Carr who is a recipient of Rural Generalist scholarship and has recently completed a three month intern rotation to Flinders Island.

Flinders Island is the largest of the Furneaux Group, a collection of around 100 small islands situated in Bass Straight, off the northeast coast of Tasmania. Coming from a somewhat dark history, being the place of exile for the last of the native Tasmanian Aboriginals, the island today contains a mixed population of both European and Aboriginal ancestry.

The geography of the island is dramatic with beautiful coastal beaches and the towering peaks of Mt Strzelecki dominating the south with the remote wildness of the north near Killiecrankie (well known for exceptional cray fishing and Killiecrankie diamonds).

My time on Flinders Island was spent with the two general practitioners who work on the island on a two week on - two week off basis. While in many ways it is similar to other general practice, the isolation does certainly impact on services available with most radiology and specialist services requiring travel to mainland Tasmania.

As an intern, my work involved a mixture of experiences including standard general practice-based work, alongside a consultant GP, using the wave consulting format. There was also the opportunity to work in the THS Multi-Purpose Centre which involved the ongoing care of several nursing home patients as well as the assessment and management of acute emergency presentations. Perhaps most rewarding of all however, was the outreach work with the largely aboriginal population on nearby Cape Barren Island every fortnight.

This opportunity has provided me with a good insight into what work, and life, is like for those living in a small community, remote from major centres.  Having thoroughly enjoyed the experience I am now more excited than ever to continue my training and seek out more experiences working in rural areas. Overall, I would highly recommend the experience to anyone else who is considering heading to Flinders Island be it as a student, nurse or doctor.

Image - Flinders Island

ACRRM and RACGP start formal application for national recognition of Rural Generalist Medicine

Leaders of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the National Rural Health Commissioner gathered at a Joint College Taskforce to begin the application process.

ACRRM President Dr Ewen McPhee says the Colleges have agreed to combine their strengths to achieve Rural Generalist recognition and address the health care needs of rural and remote communities.

RACGP Vice President and Chair of the Rural Council Dr Ayman Shenouda says: “Recognition is a vital step forward for the National Rural Generalist pathway that is offered by both colleges to support rural doctors to address current and future health care needs of rural and remote communities.

Full text of the media release is available at RG national recognition.

Planning for the Tasmanian Rural Health Conference 2020

Due to a clash of dates and venue availability, the conference will now be held at the UTAS Cradle Coast Campus on the weekend 28-29 March 2020.   This is an excellent facility for small conferences and we thank UTAS for their generosity in making the campus available.

The first meeting of the Planning Committee for TRHC2020 was held on 19 June and a broad outline of the program will be available soon.  The Committee has looked at feedback from this year’s conference and will include as many as possible of the suggestions made for 2020.  Expect another interesting and informative mix of presentations, hands on workshops, panel discussions addressing current issues in Rural Generalist practice and training. The Committee is very happy to receive other suggestions for the program, please contact the committee on email TasRuralHealthConference@health.tas.gov.au

The conference dinner and Awards Presentation will be held at Bayview’s Restaurant on the Burnie waterfront overlooking the beach.  The Awards are sponsored by the Rural Doctors Association of Tasmania and will include the RDAT Tasmanian Rural Doctor of the Year and the RDAT Tasmanian Rural Medical Student of the Year.  A call for nominations will go out late 2019/early 2020 and we would encourage all colleagues, practice managers, supervisors, and educators to consider deserving doctors and educators for these awards.
Dr Peter Arvier

Image - UTAS Cradle Coast Campus Burnie

Rural Generalist positions in Adult Internal Medicine in NW Tasmania

Discussions are at advanced stage for establishment of two 12 month Rural Generalist Advanced Training positions within the Division of Medicine at the NWRH.

It is likely that these positions will commence in 2020 and further information will be available once the accreditation process is completed.

For further information or express interest in these positions, please contact the TRGP office at rural.pathways@health.tas.gov.au or Dr Peter Arvier at peter.arvier@health.tas.gov.au

Tasmanian Rural Generalist Scholarships

The Tasmanian RG Project offers four scholarships each year to final year medical students to support careers in rural generalist practice.

Two scholarships are offered for graduates from the Launceston Clinical School and two for the Rural Clinical School.  The scholarships are valued at $15,000 each paid in three instalments of $5,000 (completion of medical school, completion of intern year and completion of PGY2).  Recipients are required to complete their Intern year and PGYs years in North or North West Tasmania.  Other requirements include a specific intern rotation in rural Primary Care and/or other TRGP specific rotations.

Full information on eligibility and requirements is available at TRG Scholarships 2019 or by emailing rural pathways on  rural.pathways@health.tas.gov.au

Applications will open in mid August 2019 with offers made mid September.


Congratulations to Dr Jane Cooper FRACGP FARGP for fulfilling the requirements for Rural Generalist in Tasmania.  Jane practices at the Don Medical Clinic in Devonport and her RG Additional Skills are in the field of Adolescent Health.

Image - Dr Jane Cooper

Have you completed your FACRRM or FARGP in Tasmania?

Don’t forget to apply for your Tasmanian Rural Generalist Pathway Certificate of Completion.

Telehealth Guidelines

RACGP has recently published new guidelines on setting up and conducting Telehealth Consultations.  The full document is available at RACGP Telehealth Guidelines

Positions on RACGP Faculty Councils

Nominations for elected positions on the RACGP Faculty Councils are now open.

The RACGP Faculty Councils play an important role in shaping the way general practice is delivered across Australia. Faculty Council members debate the critical issues that impact general practice and provide expert advice on continuing professional development, education, training, quality care, research and advocacy on behalf of general practice.

The terms of approximately half of the current members for each Faculty Council conclude at the close of upcoming Faculty Member Meetings. It is at this point that newly elected Faculty Council members begin their term.

For eligibility requirements and to download nomination forms, visit the RACGP website

Nominations will close on Wednesday 3 July 2019.

Credentialing of GPs in THS facilities

The Tasmanian Department of Health Credentialing Committee has asked that the following information be disseminated to all GPs (and GP registrars) working in THS facilities:

Who: All GPs that work in a THS facility, including one of the tertiary hospitals or any of the District Hospitals.

Please note that GP Registrars working in District Hospitals need to go through the credentialing process and will be credentialed by the local Executive Director of Medical Services. They are not expected to have Fellowship or ongoing CPD. They are expected to have their ALS2 or equivalent. GP Registrars are expected to continue to work under supervision as per training requirements. This supervision may be off site if appropriate to level of training.

AHPRA recognised Specialist GPs will be credentialed by the THS credentialing committee to work in THS facilities as independent practitioners. There are GP representatives on the credentialing committee.

How: Through the online credentialing portal

You will need your CV, medical degree, Fellowship, evidence of current CPD (including evidence of ALS2 or equivalent within the last two years for those working in Tier 1 District Hospitals with emergency facilities) and two current clinical references.

Questions about the statewide eCredential system can be emailed to the generic email

Changes to ACRRM PC StAMPS requirements

ACRRM has recently announced changes to the pre-requisites for sitting the Primary Care StAMPS exams. The advice from ACRRM is as follows:

That prior to attempting Primary Curriculum StAMPS, all candidates must have:

i. Passed the MCQ
ii. Successfully completed Mini CEX formative assessment and/or MSF
iii. Completed at least one formal StAMPS preparation activity either with ACRRM or their RTO

This requirement will be implemented for all 2020 PC StAMPS examinations and onwards. It is acknowledged that there may be a handful of Registrars that are affected by timing issues as this is implemented. The Registrar Committee has been advised and will ensure that published information encourages anyone affected and therefore requesting exemption from these requirements to write to the College providing an explanation of why these conditions should not apply to them. This information will then be presented to the Assessment Committee for consideration.

All RTOs have been advised directly, as well as updating of the current webpage for PC StAMPS, updating the Fellowship Assessment Handbook and publishing information in the College newsletters.

For further information, contact assessments

Current Vacancies

For THS Registrar Recruitment and other THS/DoH jobs, please visit the Tasmanian Government Jobs website

THS 2020 RMO Recruitment Campaign is open, please visit the recruitment dvertisement

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

For GP vacancies, please visit HRPlus

Events – 2019/2020

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

Email rural pathways to have your event included in the calendar.

September 3-5: General Practice Training and Education Conference (GPTEC) 2019, Melbourne. Refer to General Practice Training and Education Conference for the Program.

September 20-22: AMSA Rural Health Summit, Cairns, Queensland.  Refer to AMSA Rural Health Summit for further information.

October 23-27: RDAA/ACRRM Rural Medicine Australia 2019 Conference, Gold Coast. Refer to Rural Medicine Australia 2019 Conference for the Program.

October 24-26: RACGP Annual Conference GP19, Adelaide. Refer to RACGP annual conference for the Program.

March 21-22 2020: Tasmanian Rural Health Conference, UTAS Cradle Coast Campus, Burnie.

This project is funded by the Australian Government through the National Partnership agreement on improving health service in Tasmania.