‘Game changing’ extended skills recognition launched

Michelle Wisbey

27/10/2023 11:53:44 AM

The RACGP program is open to all Fellows with at least five years’ experience in their interest area, including dermatology and addiction.

RACGP Specific Interests Chair Dr Lara Roeske.
RACGP Specific Interests Chair Dr Lara Roeske launching the Recognition of Extended Skills program at WONCA 2023.

GPs with a special interest area can now be formally recognised for their skills and training, under a new trial program initiated by the college.
The RACGP’s Recognition of Extended Skills launched at the WONCA World Conference 2023 on Thursday, aimed at better connecting patients and doctors.
The new program is open to any GP Fellow of the RACGP with at least five years of experience in their specific interest area, including any additional training, skills, and expertise.
The initial trial includes dermatology, integrative medicine, psychological medicine, addiction medicine, and developmental disability. 
Successful applicants will be able to display an RACGP Extended Skills sign on their website, making it easier for patients seeking out doctors with specific knowledge or interest areas.
RACGP Specific Interests Chair Dr Lara Roeske said the program will also give GPs who have continued to develop their skills the recognition they deserve.
‘Many GPs choose to develop skills and knowledge in response to their community’s needs, as well as their own areas of interest, such as mental health or developmental disability,’ she said.
‘These extended skills are invaluable to the community.
‘This will be a real gamechanger for people who are looking for a GP with further skills that matches their specific health issue.’
Applications for the program are now open on the RACGP website.

Each application will be assessed by a panel of expert GPs to ensure high standards of recognition.
RACGP President Dr Nicole Higgins said the program supports GPs to work to the top of their scope of practice. 
‘If we want to improve access to care for Australians and affordability, and make our health system more efficient, GPs need to be supported to work to the top of their scope,’ she said. 
‘GPs are highly trained, and we could provide more services to Australian patients if we were allowed. For instance, GPs could play a larger role in ADHD diagnosis and treatment to improve affordability and access to care – and that’s just one example.  
‘The RACGP’s Recognition of Extended Skills will demonstrate the extra training and knowledge GPs gain throughout their careers, and these GPs should be empowered to work to the top of their scope, so they can do more for their patients, and for our communities.’
Marketing materials offered to successful applicants include an email signature banner, images for use in social media, and images for websites.  
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addiction dermatology disability extended skills integrative medicine mental health

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