RACGP takes the lead in supporting non-vocationally registered doctors

Zena Burgess PhD

2/07/2018 4:35:46 PM

RACGP Chief Executive Officer Dr Zena Burgess reflects on the college’s new program to support non-vocationally registered doctors attain Fellowship.

The new Practice Experience Program will provide non-VR doctors with a targeted educational program in a bid to boost exam pass rates and help in attaining Fellowship of the RACGP.
The new Practice Experience Program will provide non-VR doctors with a targeted educational program in a bid to boost exam pass rates and help in attaining Fellowship of the RACGP.

As the largest and most influential healthcare organisation in Australia, the RACGP has a responsibility to provide those working in primary care with the best available support throughout their careers. That goes for doctors in any location and from any educational background.
That is why I am so pleased with the recent announcement of the RACGP’s new Practice Experience Program (PEP). Expressions of interest will open on Tuesday 3 July, with a pilot of the program due to officially start in January 2019.
The PEP will support more than 3000 non-vocationally registered (VR) doctors working in general practice with a targeted educational program in a bid to boost exam pass rates, with the ultimate goal of attaining Fellowship of the RACGP.
The majority of PEP will be funded by the Federal Government, which will provide funding over the next five years to help support non-VR doctors who are providing general practice services.
Many of the non-VR doctors throughout Australia are international medical graduates (IMGs) who are required to work for up to a decade in rural and remote areas, where there is a long-standing doctor shortage. Many are currently not eligible for the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) Program and alternative support options are limited.
This means many non-VR doctors – who are providing general practice services to people all around Australia – currently prepare for Fellowship exams with minimal support.
Anyone who has worked in an isolated setting understands it can be a challenging experience, and it can be exceedingly difficult to find the necessary drive to prepare for exams when toiling way in anonymity.
The RACGP will now offer these doctors the support they need and deserve with a self-directed program that provides educational support tailored to each participant’s needs. The PEP participants will have access to a range of online modules and materials, in-practice assessment activities and contact and support from medical educators, mentors and assessors. 
It is envisaged candidates will spend an average of 12–18 months in the program before attempting Fellowship of the RACGP (FRACGP) examinations.
This will not only help doctors to progress their careers, but ultimately lead to better patient outcomes throughout the country.
The PEP will commence as a pilot in January 2019 and will be delivered in partnership with regional training organisations (RTOs). Expressions of interest will remain open until 27 July.

I encourage everyone to visit the PEP pilot website and find out more about this new program. Email the PEP team on if you have any questions.

fracgp non-vr doctors pep Practice Experience Program

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Dr Meera Joshi FRACGP   3/07/2018 9:24:27 AM

Congratulations Dr Zena Burgess for initiating this program for non VR GP's who needs support to be successful in completing fellowship exam .I am involved in supporting Non VR GP education through PESCI process,I am more than happy to support this initiative as an educator. .

Dr Peter J Strickland. FRACGP   3/07/2018 12:46:50 PM

This is a good initiative, but the FRACGP exam needs to incorporate more pragmatism for experienced no-vocationally registered GPs who want to go into any FRACGP program. There is often too much bureaucratic decisions to not pass candidates who have slightly different thinking with the examined cases. For example, it should not be assumed that in cases where the doctor and patient would require multiple consultations to get a conclusion, that the candidate has failed --- unless the examiner(s) have the opportunity to ensure the candidate knows that the time allocated to discuss the case involves "multiple" consultations to reach a conclusive diagnosis and management. Otherwise the candidate could assume the 8 mins in short cases involves the first consultation (only).

Dr Md Wazid FRACGP   3/07/2018 1:06:39 PM

I am sure it is going to be a great programme for the nonVR GPs.
Thanks for initiating this .

Hannah Vorster   5/07/2018 12:19:06 PM

I would like to support a very experienced GP from South Africa to immigrate to Australia in January 2019 .
She has done the AMC exam in London and will do the AMC practical examination in September 2018.
Please let me know how I can support her

Dr Trump   13/10/2018 4:03:29 PM

Australia government should remove 19aa law, because this law is only affect to Doctors who are Australia citizen and P.R., it does not affect temporary resident Doctors, this is not fair law, If your Medical registration is before 1996, you are VR. GP too without Fellowship qualification. This is also not fair too. 19aa law is a politically based law, it's also discrimination law against Doctors who are Australia citizen and P.R. resident. It's law made by Australia Government for discrimination purpose. This 19aa law should abolish. All doctors should work in the country and remote area, it does not matter Doctors who are from Australia or Overseas.

Dr Ratnakar Bhattacharyya   10/11/2018 11:10:39 PM

This is a good initiative by the College now representing probably largest number of diverse group of medical practitioners including many who are not in the VR group. Many are highly experienced medical graduates and many with specialist qualification and general registration and in private practice over many years mostly seeing non referred patients as their regular general practitioners at a very low rebate. Many are members of RACGP . Each should be judged on merit without any bias and conflict of interest for VR . Why not ask these doctors individually to submit their General Practice experience in Australia and assess their suitability to be included in VR ?