RACGP launches new program for specialist IMGs

Morgan Liotta

2/09/2019 12:58:55 PM

The new PEP Specialist Stream provides enhanced support to specialist international medical graduates.

PEP Specialist Stream website
The PEP Specialist Stream provides structured education and peer support for specialist international medical graduates.

The RACGP has said it is pleased to announce the Practice Experience Program (PEP) Specialist Stream, which launched on 1 September, replacing the Specialist Recognition Program (SRP).
The PEP Specialist Stream is a 3GA workforce program that provides structured education and peer support for specialist international medical graduates (SIMGs) with a specialist general practice qualification, working towards Fellowship of the RACGP (FRACGP). The PEP is co-funded under the Australian Government’s Stronger Rural Health Strategy for non–vocationally registered (non-VR) doctors working in Modified Monash Model (MMM) areas 2–7.
The new program comes in direct response to the Medical Board of Australia’s guidelines to ensure that SIMGs have access to educational support and undergo appropriate assessment before obtaining FRACGP, which happens once all program requirements have been met.
Key benefits for SIMGs applying for the PEP include:

  • receiving Australian Government co-funded program support
  • capacity to bill for services under the highest value Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) item, using a PEP provider number
  • access to a suite of comprehensive, free educational resources
  • peer support and feedback whilst transitioning into Australian general practice
  • award of FRACGP upon successful program completion.
‘For the first time as a college, we are excited to be able to get some insight into who SIMGs are and learn how we can best support them as they settle into general practice in Australia,’ Dr Tess Van Duuren, RACGP NSW&ACT Censor and Senior Medical Educator Assessment Progression, told newsGP.
Dr Tess Van Duuren said the transition into a new culture and healthcare system can also be challenging, and the program aims to support this transition.
‘Moving to Australia as an overseas-trained doctor myself, I would have loved to have the support and structure that this program offers,’ she said.
Under the new PEP Specialist Stream, the RACGP can issue provider numbers to participants working in MMM 2–7 locations in areas classified as Distribution Priority Areas (DPA). Substantially comparable doctors that are exempt to section 19AB of the Health Insurance Act may be eligible to apply for MMM1 provider numbers in areas designated as underserved GP catchment areas. However, participants also need to be aware of any obligations they may have under Australian law.
In all cases, applicants are advised to consult the Department of Health, Department of Human Services, and Department of Home Affairs for further information, and refer to Doctor Connect for further information about where they can work in Australia. Information about work locations is also available on the RACGP website.
Further information on the PEP, including the PEP Specialist Stream participant guide and Fellowship policy framework, is available on the RACGP website.

Fellowship international medical graduates PEP Practice Experience Program


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