Information about the development and implementation of the Rural Health Workforce Strategy.
Rural medical training
The Trainee Medical Officer Unit in the Rural Support Service is working with regional local health networks, the university-led regional training hubs, the Rural Doctors Workforce Agency (RDWA) and other stakeholders to coordinate rural medical training through the Rural Generalist Program South Australia (RGPSA). The RGPSA seeks to align with the National Rural Generalist Pathway and SA’s Rural Medical Workforce Plan with key objectives of attraction and retention, the RGPSA will provide a mechanism for engaging trainees interested in, or committed to Rural Generalism commencing at the postgraduate stage or beyond (PGY2+) subject to a trainee’s successful entry to a GP training program or demonstrated commitment to rural medicine, along with ongoing supports to encourage retention of trainees in rural areas long term.
The Rural Generalist Coordination Unit (RGCU) was established in 2020, funded by the Department of Health and Aged Care for the implementation and delivery of the RGPSA providing support to all six regional Local Health Networks (LHN) in South Australia for the establishment and expansion of rural medical training. Additional supports have also been introduced through the RGCU to ensure consistent access to information and attraction to rural training opportunities and the rural generalist pathway, the benefits of training and living in a rural location, career guidance, scholarships and grants and access to RG mentors through the RGPSA Mentoring Program. Visit the RGPSA website to learn more about our program and the Rural Generalist pathway.
The RGPSA enables junior doctors to undertake the full complement of post-graduate training within a region, internship through to fellowship with a view to increasing attraction, training, and retention for a skilled and sustainable rural medical workforce.
Accredited rural training programs offered through our regional local health networks (rLHNs):
- Limestone Coast Training Network offers opportunities for internship, PGY2 + with a variety of rotations including paediatrics, anaesthetics, emergency, general practice, general medicine and general surgery. Advanced skill training posts vary but include anaesthetics (DRGA), DRANZCOG, Advanced DRANZCOG and emergency medicine extended skills (ACEM EMD/EMC).
- The Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network (FUNLHN) and Eyre and Far North Local Health Network (EFNLHN) work together offering opportunities for interns with rotations in Emergency at the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS), general medicine, general surgery and general practice. FUNLHN offers PGY2 + rotations across anaesthesia, general medicine, emergency (RFDS), adult medicine and obstetrics; and advanced skill training posts in anaesthetics (DRGA)
- The Eyre and Far North Local Health Network (EFNLHN) offer rotations for PGY2+ across obstetrics, general practice, emergency, anaesthetics and medical inpatients and advanced skills training in DRANZCOG.
- The Riverland Academy of Clinical Excellence (RACE) based in the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network commenced in 2022 and offers opportunities for interns and PGY2+ with rotations across aged care, emergency, relieving, general medicine, general surgery, general practice, paediatrics, anaesthetics, women’s health, palliative care and mental health. advanced skill training posts include Emergency and DRANZCOG positions.
- Barossa Hills Fleurieu Local Heath Network are currently developing their medical training program commencing 2024. A variety of rotations are expected to be available for interns and PGY2+ including emergency, obstetrics, general medicine and general practice. Others may be added as the program is developed. BHFLHN provides advanced skills training in emergency.
Note: rotations may change from year to year.
Supporting many of the rotations available is the John Flynn Prevocational Doctor Program (JFPDP) commenced in 2023 replacing and building on the Rural Junior Doctor Training Innovation Fund allowing further expansion of rural primary care rotations. The JFPDP grant through the Department for Health and Aged Care sees rural GP clinics collaborating with our rural local health networks for rural based junior doctors, and the Rural Doctors Workforce Agency’s Road to Rural Intern Program for metro based junior doctors, to access primary care rotations in rural areas.
For more information about rural medical training opportunities, visit the Careers in regional South Australia page, or contact Kylee Nuss, Manager, Trainee Medical Officer Unit on 0481 466 438 or at Health.SARuralGeneralistTraining@sa.gov.au.