Rural Health West
Rural Health West provides support through the GP Obstetrics Mentoring Program, Supervised Clinical Attachments and Education.
The GP Obstetrics mentoring program assists with providing a safe and skilled GP proceduralist service in rural and remote areas in Western Australia. The mentoring programs help GPs to gain confidence in their skills as they commence working as an independent procedural GP. There are three streams within the GP Obstetrics mentoring program, stream one includes being linked with an experienced mentor within the region to provide support for 12 months. Stream two includes providing support and upskilling to enable GPO’s to continue to practice in a vulnerable location. Stream three includes supporting a RANZCOG trainee to complete a rural immersion.
Rural Health West coordinates SCAs for Western Australian procedural general practitioners in Perth-based or regional tertiary hospitals. The aim of an SCA is for procedural general practitioners to update their skills and knowledge. Participants will have a nominated supervisor who is responsible for providing a written report at the conclusion of the attachment period. To request and SCA, please complete the request form on the Rural Health West website and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Rural Health West provides a comprehensive suite of education, upskilling and networking opportunities for rural health professionals and their families. To learn more visit the Rural Health West website here.
Rural Clinical School Hubs
RCS regional training HUBs have a federal mandate to support post graduate training opportunities and to improve rural workforce retention. GP Obstetricians are a critical component to regional and remote medical staffing. Australia wide numbers are dwindling. Regional training HUBS hopes to support future obstetric work force by advocacy in the following areas:
1. Inspiring JMOs to consider obstetric careers and recruit rural JMOs to DRANZCOG or specialty training. Models of metrocentric training are inefficient. Ideally regions would consider their own work force needs/ succession planning and nurture internal candidates from local junior and senior medical staff.
2. Provide career advice on how to optimally blend GP training and DRANZCOG training pathways. It is critical to the professional development of DRANZCOG candidates that freshly acquired obstetric skills are used and not put on hold whilst completing training.
3. Collaborate with WACHS in maintaining and developing rural step-up jobs that can augment tertiary care training. Unlike some medical specialties, adequate obstetrics training requires high volume metro experiences but certainly before and after metro training, rural registrar positions can be used to inspire as well as consolidate skills.
4. Encourage metro hospitals to offer quality DRANZCOG training opportunities as well as employment opportunities for GP Obstetricians requiring a metro-based life chapter.
WA Country Health Service
Every year, 6500 families access antenatal care and 4500 access intrapartum care in rural WA. To ensure these women receive high quality care locally, close collaboration between GPs /GP obstetricians and WACHS exists. These arrangements take various forms dependent on the local setting and needs of the women and their home towns but include antenatal care +/- intrapartum care in one of the 16 delivery sites.
WACHS values the skills and recognises the importance that GPOs provide in ensuring that quality maternity services remain sustainable in rural towns. Models of employment for GPOs include salaried positions or visiting medical officer status. GPOs are encouraged to engage with their local hospital via on-call rosters, educational events e.g PROMPT and a variety of governance groups. WACHS also provides funding via RHW to encourage/assist GP Obstetricians to enter rural practice through the very successful mentoring program and recently established immersion program.
King Edward Memorial Hospital Postgraduate Medical Education
King Edward Memorial Hospital (KEMH) strongly supports GPs who have obtained or wish to obtain further obstetric qualifications, including the Basic DRANZCOG and the Advanced DRANZCOG. These qualifications can be obtained whilst working in accredited Resident and Registrar rotations at KEMH and other hospital-based maternity services. KEMH Post Graduate Medical Education Unit (PGME) provides a comprehensive syllabus of tutorials and lectures both in person and supported by online learning systems to assist GPs and GP Registrars gain their qualifications.
Together with the KEMH Liaison GP a monthly Webinar series is provided for GPs, which all residents and registrars are invited to attend. The PGME Unit engages all residents and registrars in discussions about future career pathways, and endeavours to assist them to reach their career goals with strong links to metropolitan and rural hospitals, WACHS and GP training pathways. The Director of PGME and Liaison GP advocate for GP Obstetricians and GPs with interest in Women’s Health on various local and statewide committees including the WA GP Obstetric Advisory Group.
For those GP Obstetricians wishing to upskill their qualifications, there are opportunities available via the PGME unit to support upskilling and recredentialling of skills.
Fiona Stanley Hospital
Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners