AMA PLAN TO BOLSTER GP WORKFORCE
Community Residency Program for Junior Medical Officers (JMOs)
The AMA has developed a plan to provide Junior Medical Officers (JMOs) with important general practice prevocational training in an effort to encourage more young doctors to choose a career in general practice.
AMA President, A/Prof Brian Owler, said today that, following the 2014 Federal Budget decision to scrap the Prevocational General Practice Placements Program (PGPPP), general practice is now the only major medical specialty that does not offer JMOs a prevocational training experience.
A/Prof Owler said the AMA feared that the loss of the PGPPP would see a decline in the general practice workforce, especially in rural and remote areas, at a time when community need for GPs was growing.
“To fill the PGPPP gap, the AMA has developed an alternative GP training plan – the Community Residency Program for Junior Medical Officers – and we have already raised it in discussions with the Health Minister,” A/Prof Owler said.
“The AMA plan sets out the design and funding principles that would support opportunities for JMOs to undertake rotations of up to 13 weeks into general practice, which would help them to experience life as a GP and to enhance their clinical experience.
“A recent major study (Comparing general practice and hospital rotations, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/tct.12224/pdf) shows clearly the educational value of a general practice placement in comparison with hospital placements.
“The study recommends that the expansion of prevocational general practice placements should be considered to provide all junior doctors with the benefits of exposure to generalist skills in the community.
“The AMA’s Community Residency Program is affordable, and would be a very worthy investment in our future medical workforce,” A/Prof Owler said.
Details of the AMA Community Residency Program for JMOs are available at https://ama.com.au/submission/community-residency-program
· At the time of its conclusion, the PGPPP funded 900 prevocational placements in general practice annually for JMOs.
· The PGPPP was a valuable program for many reasons. It supported efforts to deliver more training and care in the community, supplementing the traditional hospital-based approach to medical training. Through careful targeting, it also boosted access to GP services in rural and remote communities.
· The PGPPP gave JMOs a valuable insight into life as a GP, and informed their career choice.
· The PGPPP also helped build an understanding of how general practice works, informing future practice in other specialty areas. With a deeper appreciation of the role of GPs, other specialists can make better decisions about patient care, and work more closely with their GP colleagues.
13 April 2015
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