Tasmanian Rural Medical Generalist Pathway Newsletter - Edition 2

In this Edition:

Director - Rural Pathways news

The first thing many people ask me when we meet is "So what is a Rural Medical Generalist?"

The Cairns Consensus Statement defines 'Rural Generalist Medicine' as the provision of a broad scope of medical care by a doctor in the rural context that encompasses the following:

  • Comprehensive primary care for individuals, families and communities
  • Hospital in-patient and/or related secondary medical care in the institutional, home or ambulatory setting
  • Emergency care
  • Extended and evolving service in one or more areas of focused cognitive and/or procedural practice as required to sustain needed health services locally among a network of colleagues
  • A population health approach that is relevant to the community
  • Working as part of a multi-professional and multi-disciplinary team of colleagues, both local and distant, to provide services within a 'system of care' that is aligned and responsive to community needs

When commencing in Queensland, the priority need was in the procedural skills of anaesthetics and O&G. This is changing as community needs evolve. In Tasmania, there is need for extended services in ED (with GPs already working in EDs around the state), and in disciplines such as Palliative Care, Mental Health, Paediatrics, Aged Care and Addiction Medicine. Tasmania is also the home of the Australian Antarctic Division, with Antarctic doctors requiring a rural medical generalist skill set before deployment.

Edition 2 Profile - Dr Annette Hackett

The flame was lit when, as a 10 yhear old, I received (in the post) the information about the Royal Flying Doctor Service that I had requested (by post) several weeks previously. From then on, I wanted to fly, and I wanted to work for the RFDS. The usual perfectionist tendencies displayed by all medical students helped get me through medical school at UWA, and into the air, in 1986. Over the next few years I went about getting the required experience in anaesthetics, ED, O&G and Paeds, in the UK and then in Kalgoorlie, WA. After several years there, including a couple with the RFDS, I set about my next venture - going to Antarctica. Getting surgical experience was the rate limiting step, but when finally achieved, I was off to Casey Station for a full year (20 year reunion this year). Rural and remote medicine was everything I had ever dreamed of - exciting, endless variety, fascinating landscapes and people.

On returning to earth, I found single parenting and remote living don't mix well, so I settled in Cygnet; a small practice supportive of part-timers who need to work around day-care, school holidays and childhood illnesses. Although more like an outer suburb of Hobart in comparison to places I had previously worked, it still had the small town feel, where everyone is related to everyone else (be careful what you say to whom), and where the full range of medicine (sans hospital and procedural work) could be practiced daily. In later years, I have spent more time in aged care (having about 40 residents at Huon Eldercare), teaching at UTAS, and doing occasional GP work (still working around school hours).

While my son was young, I managed to get away to do some remote locums in the NT - and when the boys have grown and flown, I will be going back there. My feet are definitely getting itchy again - I want to get back to doing what I trained for, all those years ago. For the people, the challenges in medicine and the beauty of the Australian Outback.

UTAS Year 2 Rural Week

From April 4-8 the ensure second year of medical students were placed in rural areas around Tasmania for a week of general practice and community health experience.

They enjoyed the placements with GPs, allied health practitioners, community health services and local industry.

Medical Students on Rural Week

Rural Doctors Association Tasmania (RDAT)

RDAT is the state branch of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA). They provide support to rural medical practitioners, GP registrars and medical students. To find out more, visit the Rural Doctors Association of Australia or follow then on Twitter @RDA_Tas

Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) applications NOW OPEN

Applications are open for AGPT 2017.

If you are looking to do prevocational general practice through General Practice Training Tasmania (GPTT) now is the time to apply. GPTT supports both the ACRRM and RACGP curriculum, providing high quality training.

For further information, please contact Dr Allison Turnock, Director - Rural Pathways

E: allison.turnock@dhhs.tas.gov.au

Ph: 0417 684 415