Tasmanian Rural Generalist Pathway Newsletter Edition 27 (Jan - Feb 2020)

Tasmanian Rural Health Conference 2020

“The Future of Rural Practice”

28-29 March at the University of Tasmania, Cradle Coast Campus, Burnie


In this Edition:

  • Welcome to 2020
  • Tasmanian Rural Health Conference update
  • TRHC key note speaker - Dr Amy Neilson
  • Meet to Dr Mark Wallace - future Rural Generalists
  • National Drug and Alcohol Addiction program
  • ACRRM Telederm service

Welcome to 2020

Welcome to our first newsletter for 2020!  It promises to be an exciting year for the Tasmanian Rural Generalist Pathway.

The Federal Government has invited grant applications for funding for the next six months to establish Coordination Units to support the progress of the National RG pathway.  We expect to hear the outcome of those applications in the very near future.  There will be a further grant opportunity later this year to continue the Coordination Units and also significantly expand the number of training places in Rural Primary Care over the next three years as part of the Rural Junior Doctor Training Innovation Fund.

The four new RG scholarship holders from the Rural Clinical School have all commenced their internships at the North West Regional Hospital which will include a rural Primary Care rotation.  Angus Ewing is now on King Island for his very first three months as an intern – which builds on his rotation there as an RCS student (and keen surfer!).
2020 will also see new rural Primary Care rotations for PGY2 doctors at Don Medical Clinic in Devonport, St Helens and Huon Valley.  Trent Carr, from the LGH (and the very first RG scholarship holder) is heading to St Helens for his first rotation of the year.
Increasingly we are trying to offer junior doctor rotations to rural primary care locations they have already experienced as students - and perhaps further down the track, encourage them to return to those locations as RG registrars which will help build stronger and longer relationships with communities and practices they already know.

The Rural Generalist Coordinating Council (which oversees and advises the Tasmanian Rural Generalist Pathway) will hold its first meeting for the year on February 5th.  We welcome Dr Meg McKeown as the new ACRRM representative, Elif Stoneman as the new RUSTICA representative and Dr Aaron Hawkins as the new registrar representative on the Council.

And finally, plans are well advanced for the Tasmanian Rural Health Conference at the end of March which will be a fantastic educational and networking opportunity for Tasmanian RGs.
See you there!

Dr Peter Arvier
Director, Rural Pathways


Tasmanian Rural Health Conference 2020

'The Future of Rural Practice'

Plans are well advanced for the conference to be held at the University of Tasmania Cradle Coast Campus over the weekend of 28-29 March.The program is jointly convened by the Tasmanian Rural Generalist Pathway and the Rural Doctors Association of Tasmania.

Generous sponsorship from the UTAS Rural Clinical School and the Sportula Foundation means the conference is FREE for students (including the conference dinner and awards presentations, kindly sponsored by RDAT and ACRRM).

Please note there will be two highly recommended pre-conference workshops on Friday 27 March (both at the Cradle Coast Campus)

  • The ACRRM Advanced Life Support course - open to rural doctors, registrars and junior doctors.  (Discount for ACRRM and RDAT members). Rural doctors may be eligible for the Medicare Procedural Grant to cover the cost of this course.  Further information and registration available through ACRRM 
  • Dealing with Depression in Rural Australia – a one day workshop presented by the Black Dog Institute.  Open to any interested health professionals or students. Cost $40 due to generous sponsorship. Further information and registration is available through Black Dog Institute

Please visit the DoH webpage for the full program,registrations for the conference are now open and tickets can be purchased through eventbrite

Key note speaker - Dr Amy Neilson

We are pleased to announce another of our invited guest speakers - Dr Amy Neilson whose presentation is titled “From conflict, through displacement and migration, onward to rural communities: local effects of global events”. Amy will also be one of the panelists in the session on “Inspirational women in Rural medicine – managing the work/life balance”.

Amy’s bio: Amy is an Australian-trained Rural Generalist (FACRRM with Advanced Specialised Training in Emergency Medicine) and Fellow of the Australasian College of Tropical Medicine (FACTM), working in Disaster and Humanitarian Medicine with Médecins Sans Frontières and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Humanitarian Medicine positions have taken Amy to Sierra Leone for the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak, then on to Lebanon, South Sudan, Syria, Iraq and Ukraine.

Amy's long term interest in the optimal delivery of health care to complex populations in great need and in the ethics of the delivery of this care, with a particular focus on conflict regions, and on the underlying structural violence visited upon vulnerable populations.  She is moving currently into research regarding the drivers of conflict, migration and the climate emergency.

In Australia, Amy works in remote communities or in large regional centres in combined FACRRM/FACEM Emergency Medicine teams. Always happy to chat with students and colleagues at all levels about work in Humanitarian Medicine.

Other sessions at the conference will include:

  • Climate Change and Health
  • Pre- hospital care
  • The role of other health professionals in Primary Care
  • Update from the Coroner’s office
  • The dementia epidemic
  • Emerging issues in Public Health
  • Navigating the RG pathway
  • Palliative Care update
  • Metabolic syndrome in the paediatric patient
  • The Street Medicine initiative in Hobart
  • Clinical re-design for Primary Care

And the ever popular RUSTICA student skills session – ultrasound, lumbar puncture, skin lesion excisions and more!

Thank you to our current Tasmanian Rural Health Conference 2020 Sponsors:


Meet future Rural Generalist Dr Mark Wallace

In 2012, whilst living and working in the Middle East as an Intensive Care Paramedic and with 30+ years in the pre-hospital area of emergency care, I was offered an opportunity to enter medical school.  At 53 years old the prospect was a daunting one, but I believe you tend to ‘regret the things in life that you don’t attempt’ much more than ‘the things you try to do’

Carrying that mantra, I embarked on the journey that would take me six years and all over Australia and internationally whilst completing my clinical attachments.  Studying through an overseas university had some advantages but it also presented many obstacles along the way, especially trying to secure rotations during my clinical clerkship.

Now in 2020, I find myself very fortunate to have secured an internship at the NWRH in Burnie Tasmania.  One of the most beautiful places on the map in my opinion.  My plan after completing my intern year is to go on to Rural Generalist training in PGY2 here in Tasmania and with my contribution go some way to filling the gap and providing good quality medical care to rural and remote areas.


National Drug and Alcohol Addiction Education Program

Both RACGP and ACRRM have launched their programs on this much needed area of practice. This has been identified as a priority area for rural GPs.  These education programs are a mix of webinar sessions, on-line learning and face to face workshops.  Incentive payments for participating in this training may be available through your College. For further information and to register your interest, visit the relevant College via these links RACGP or  ACRRM


ACRRM Telederm Service

This service is available free to all ACRRM members and any doctors working in RA2 – RA 5 areas (which covers all Tasmania) via this link Telederm

Tele-Derm is an online resource designed primarily for rural doctors interested in obtaining practical advice on the diagnosis and management of skin disease in general practice.

Submit a digital photo of affected skin and a history (and diagnosis, if you’ve made one). An experienced dermatologist examines the evidence, and reports back to you - usually within two days - with diagnosis and/or treatment options.

GPs are also able to access online dermatological case studies, education opportunities, recommended links, and discussion forums. Dr Jim Muir moderates these discussions and answers questions arising in the forums.

Tele-Derm also allows rural doctors anywhere in Australia to electronically submit specific de-identified cases for assessment

For further information visit the ACRRM Telederm page


Have you completed your FACRRM or FARGP in Tasmania?

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


Current Vacancies

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

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

GP vacancies, please visit HRPlus


Events 2020

GP20.  RACGP annual conference.  Perth, WA. 15 – 17 October.  Further information available at GP20

Rural Medicine Australia 2020. Combined ACRRM and RDAA conference.  Hunter Valley, NSW.  28 – 31 October.  Further information available at RMA2020

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

Email Rural Pathways to have your event included in the calendar.


This project is funded by the Australian Government through the National Partnership Agreement on Improving Health Services in Tasmania.