Tasmanian Rural Medical Generalist Program - Newsletter Edition 9

In this edition:

Director - Rural Pathways news:

"A rural generalist is a doctor that goes into a community and asks what sort of doctor do you need? I will be that" Quote at #rural WONCA conference.

Fresh back from Cairns for the WONCA World Rural Health Conference, there are many ideas returning with those that attended. A strong focus on community, equity and contribution, we learnt about rural pathways across the world, workforce issues, educational innovations, practice disaster management, environmental health, and much more. There was a strong Tassie contingent, with the 10 Rural Clinical School students in attendance presenting. We applaud the University of Tasmania for this initiative.

Please join us on Friday 19 May 12:30pm - 2:00pm to share what we learnt at #ruralWONCA. Video Conference will be available at the 3 clinical school sites. To telephone in from distance please call (03) 6226 6165 and then enter the conference ID 778750 and press #

The Rural Medical Generalist Coordinating Council are also pleased to be a part of the collaboration recently successful in obtaining a Regional Training Hub for the North West of Tasmania. The Hub grant, lead by the University of Tasmania's Rural Clinical School, will support rural generalist specialists in specialties other than GP.

Introducing the RMGCC Registrar Representative: Dr Ingrid Smethurst

Having always loved 'the bush' and the idea of growing plants for food living and working rurally was a natural progression. To be perfectly honest, studying medicine didn't come into my realm of possibilities until year 12 when my friends at private schools often said that was what they were going to do (no questions asked, they knew they were going to get the score they needed, and would get a place, no worries!). I attended public schooling from Kinder to Year 12 and I don't remember anyone ever suggesting this as a career path. At this time there were also plenty of news stories about a shortage of rural doctoPhoto: Rural Generalists, Dr Gary Healthcote (Huonville), Dr Peter Arvier (Mersey) & Dr Ingrid Smethurst (Cygnet) at the Tasmanian Rural Health Conference. Photo used by kind permission from RUSTICArs. I hadn't decided what I wanted to do after school at that point, but I thought "Well, that is something I could do, so I might as well."

At the Burnie Rural Clinical School I met some fantastic teachers and mentors (see picture - Dr Peter Arvier, centre) who inspired me to continue with the goal I set out with.

It was at this time, my husband to be, Blake, and I started dating ('long distance' Burnie to Hobart). Blake grew up in Cygnet and was building a house there for himself. This community always appealed to me as a place to live and work, and now I really am living the dream! And thankfully not solo - supportive husband by my side, and a fantastic bunch of colleagues (See photo - Dr Gary Heathcote, left). I do feel very lucky, with a great job, beautiful simple house and garden and time to be in it. This is the life.

Tasmanian Rural Medical Generalist Pathway Graduate

Congratulations to Dr Darren Briggs, who recently received his Fellowship ofPhoto: Rural Generalists, Dr Darren Briggs (Smithton) & Dr Eve Merfield (Dover), at the Tasmanian Rural Health Conference. Photo used by kind permission of RUSTICA the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, with Advanced Specialised Training in Emergency Medicine.

Darren is a rural generalist who does GP with hospital cover at Smithton, and also works in the Emergency Departments of the public hospitals on the North West Coast.

Those of you who were at the #TRHC17 may have seen Darren speak at the 'Committed to Rural Communities' session or done some workshops involving ultrasound with him.

Enhancing End of Life Care in General Practice

Palliative Care Tasmania is delivering one off, 20 minute, on site sessions about Advanced Care Planning and Medical Goals of Care. To book contact admin@tahpc.org.au or call 6231 2799.

Remember Advanced Rural Skills Training in Palliative Care is available in North West Tasmania. Contact GPTT or Dr Rosemary Ramsay for more details rosemary.ramsay@ths.tas.gov.au

DHHS & THS Library Services

THS and DHHS employees hall have access to EPOCH (Electronic Portal for Online Clinical Help) which includes resources such as AMH, eTG, Murtagh's, UpTpDate and MJA. You can register for offsite access if required for work outside the THS and DHHS premises.


WONCA is the World Organisation of Family Doctors. They recently supported the launch of Rural Seeds. Rural Seeds is a group for rural health practitioners in training to share experiences, problems, solutions and support each other. Find then on Twitter @RuralSeeds

ACRRM Academic Posts

For ACRRM Registrars on the AGPT program, 5 posts at 0.5FTE are available for 2018 as part of Advanced Specialised Training in Academis Practice, Population Health, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health or Remote Medicine. Applications open 29 May - 14 July, 2017.


We are launching the new events calendar at the Tasmanian Rural Medical Generalist Pathway webpage.

Feedback suggested you wanted one place to go to find Tasmanian events, so we are trying to collate them. We will let you know as soon as the calendar has been developed and available online!

For now, here are the current planned events:

May 11Aortic Stenosis: from diagnosis to final treatment, Launceston
May 12 - 14HR Plus Emergency Skills Program CPD Weekend, Mersey Community Hospital - SOLD OUT
May 13Advanced training in suicide prevention, Hobart
May 13UTAS RCS: Emergency Skills Workshop for GPs - Basic Life Support, Latrobe
May 13 - 14UTAS RCS: Emergency Skills Workshop, Latrobe
May 16GP apps and online resources, Launceston
May 17GP apps and online resources, Ulverstone
May 18GP apps and online resources, Hobart
May 23Antimicrobial prescribing, Launceston
May 27UTAS RCS: Adult Emergency Skills Workshop, Queenstown
June 3UTAS RCS: Paediatric Emergency Skills Workshop, Smithton
June 8UTAS Short Course Program: Assessment & Management of Skin Lesions Seminar, Hobart
June 9UTAS Short Course Program: Local Skin Flap Design & Execution Workshop, Hobart
June 10Managing Eye Problems in Daily General Practice, Hobart
June 10UTAS RCS: Paediatric Emergency Skills Workshop, King Island
June 11UTAS RCS: Adult Emergency Skills Workshop, King Island
June 16UTAS Short Course Program: Emergency Dentistry, Hobart
June 17Dealing with Depression in rural Australia, Kingston
June 30 - July 2Early Management of Severe Trauma (EMST), Hobart
July 1UTAS Short Course Program: Intercostal Catheter Insertion Workshop, Hobart
July 7UTAS Short Course Program: Regional Anaesthesia Workshop, Hobart
July 8 - 9UTAS Short Course Program: Assessment & Management of Acute Appendicitis Workshop, Hobart
July 22 - 23ASPM: Focused Psychological Strategies Skills Training (Level 2), Hobart
July 22 - 29UTAS Short Course Program: Expedition Medicine Course (Winter), Hobart
July 28UTAS Short Course Program: Assessment & Management of Hand & Wrist Injuries, Hobart
July 29Tasmanian Health Conference, Hobart
August 19UTAS RCS; Adult Emergency Skills Workshop, Latrobe
August 26 - 27GPTT: Advanced Life Support (ALS2), Hobart
September 8GPTT: Advanced Life Support (ALS1), Hobart
September 15RACGP Intermediate Clinical Emergency Management Program, Hobart
September 16 - 17RACGP Advanced Clinical Emergency Management Program, Hobart
September 16 - 17Advanced Wound Debriding Skills Course, Hobart
September 18UTAS RCS: Adult Emergency Skills Workshop, Rosebery
October 14UTAS RCS; Paediatric Emergency Skills Workshop, Queenstown
November 2 - 3UTAS Short Course Program: Basic Assessment & Support in Intensive Care Course, Hobart
November 4GPTT: Advanced Life Support (ALS1), Hobart
November 10UTAS Short Course Program: Advanced Skills in Emergency Medicine Workshop, Hobart
November 25 - 26GPTT: Advanced Life Support (ALS2), Launceston
December 2 - 9UTAS Short Course Program: Expedition Medicine Course (Summer)
December 6 - 8Advanced Paediatric Life Support (APLS), Hobart

Send your events to be included in the next newsletter and our calendar to sharee.taylor@dhhs.tas.gov.au

If there are other educational events you would life to see come to Tasmania, please let us know too!