Tasmanian Rural Medical Generalist Program Newsletter - Edition 30 (September - October 2020)

In This Edition:

  • Future Rural Generalist – Angus Ewing
  • Rural Generalist Scholarships 2020
  • The TRGP Coordination Unit activities
  • Tasmanian Rural Health Conference 2021

Future Rural Generalist – Angus Ewing

Where I grew up

Throughout my entire life I have lived in the surrounds and within the city of Hobart, Tasmania. Southern Tasmania is a place of not only beauty but also endless opportunities for outdoor hobbies including surfing, fishing, bushwalking and camping. Mostly through my parents, I became charmed with the delights of self-sufficiency around gardening, fishing and all else that goes with a semi-rural -> rural life.

What made me interested in doing medicine?

Making a difference to the world is a hopelessly cliché answer to the motives behind my chosen career pathway. However, I believe that it is one of the major pillars in supporting a fulfilling life.

Why you have a particular interest in rural medicine?

Rural communities in Australia are areas in which the presence and commitment of a stable clinician is often invaluable. The prospect of ongoing opportunities with regards to continuity of care, leadership, community involvement and a simple lifestyle are captivating. My interest is also sparked by the ongoing progression of knowledge and clinical acumen that is demanded by the challenges of rural medicine.

What has inspired me in my career so far?

The major inspirations for my career thus far have come in the form of senior role models and feedback from patients. Following the conclusion of my rural term, I heard that after a mere 5 months on King Island, many of my regular patients were thinking of and asking after me. The joy of the sense of existing as a source of advice, confidence and support in a person’s life is extremely heartening.

What was particularly good about working on King Island?

King island as a junior doctor was an excellent experience for myself because it was essentially a replica of my future aspirations for life. That is an environment wherein I can further my progression as a rural practitioner, have access to the land for gardening and the ocean for surfing.

Where do I see myself practicing in 5-10 years?

In the future I see myself practicing as either a GP or a rural generalist. I hope that within that time I have gathered the cultures, perspectives and experiences of others that can only be obtained from exploring, living and working elsewhere.


TRGP scholarships 2020

We are very pleased to announce that there will be two scholarships available this year for final year medical students intending to pursue Rural Generalist training in northern/north west Tasmania.

The scholarships are each worth $15,000 payable in instalments over three years and subject to successful graduation from University of Tasmania, School of Medicine and successful completion of Intern and PGY2 years.  Students completing their degrees through the Rural Clinical School or the Launceston Clinical School are eligible to apply.

Applications will close on Sunday 4 October and announced later in October.

Further information on guidelines and the application process is available on the TRGP- 2020 Scholarship webpage or by emailing the RG office at rural.pathways@health.gov.tas.au


TRGP Coordination Unit

Work is well underway to establish the Australian Government funded Coordination Unit in Tasmania to support the rural generalist pathway.

A strong information sharing network has been established with other jurisdictions around Australia. As part of the work towards a National Rural Generalist Pathway. Tasmania has been meeting regularly with the other states and territories to share learnings, as each jurisdiction navigates rural generalist training and the implementation of their own Coordination Units.  Dr Arvier now meets regularly with the other Clinical Directors to discuss issues of recruitment, training places and RG career paths while Sharee Taylor represents the TRGP on the national group sharing information on gathering relevant data on RG trainees and training places.

In Tasmania, the Coordination Unit continues to review systems and structures to support the TRGP and investigating how the unit can value add and complement the work already being undertaken by the multiple stakeholders in the TRGP.  Consultations for the governance review have been completed and governance structure options were discussed at the recent Rural Generalist Coordination Council meeting.

Other key pieces of work include developing an effective communication and marketing strategy to support the TRGP and how the Coordination Unit can collaborate with stakeholders already doing work in this space.

Anyone who would like to provide comment, ask questions or provide feedback about coordination unit activities can do so through the TRGP website or email rural.pathways@health.tas.gov.au

Naomi van den Hoff – TRGP-CU Project & Policy Coordinator


Tasmanian Rural Health Conference 2021

Tentative plans are for TRHC21 to be held in Burnie on the weekend 20-21 March 2021 at the University of Tasmania, Cradle Coast Campus.  The program will be similar to TRHC20 which was ‘booked out’ then cancelled due to the impact of COVID-19.  Most of the presenters who were coming to TRHC20 have indicated their willingness to be part of TRHC21.  The program will also include a reflection on, and lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic – particularly in relation to the health and social impacts on rural communities.

In the event that ‘travel’ or ‘social distancing’ regulations prevent the usual face to face conference going ahead, we have contingency plans for a one-day interactive virtual conference.

A firm decision on how the conference will be delivered will be made in early November.

As planning progresses more information will be available on the TRGP website.

For enquiries please email tasruralhealthconference@health.tas.gov.au


Medical Training Survey

The Australian Medical Council (AMC) says the Medical Training Survey (MTS) has the potential to strengthen trainees’ voice within its accreditation assessments and monitoring activities and to help shape medical training.

Over time, the MTS will enable the AMC to build longitudinal view of how training programs are being experienced by trainees across Australia. To read how the AMC will be using the MTS results in accreditation to help secure high quality education in supportive training environments, visit MedicalTrainingSurvey.gov.au.

Don’t forget to have your say by completing the 2020 Medical Training Survey. The Medical Training Survey will be available upon completing your renewal of registration. If you can’t complete the survey when you renew, AHPRA will send you a unique survey link embedded in your confirmation of registration email.


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

For all medical vacancies in the Tasmanian Health Service, please visit TAS Medical Vacancies

Current vacancies of interest to RGs include: Public Health (Hobart), Pain Medicine (Hobart) and Emergency Medicine (Mersey Community Hospital NW Tas)

For THS Registrar Recruitment and other THS/DoH jobs, please visit Jobs Tas.

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

For GP vacancies, please visit HRPlus


Events – 2020/2021

RMA20 is the annual ACRRM/RDAA conference.  The 2020 meeting has been deferred until 24-27 February 2021 and is still planned to be held in the Hunter Valley, NSW.  Further information at ACCRM News and Events

GP20, the RACGP annual conference will be held as an interactive digital event on 16-28 November 2020.  For further information, visit the conference website at RACGP GP20 Registrations .

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

Email rural.pathways@health.tas.gov.au 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.