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Prerequisite training

Mandatory hospital rotations and requirements for GP registrars

Prerequisite training (featured image)

Paediatric experience and certain hospital rotations, including medicine, emergency medicine and surgery, prepare you to train and practise as a GP registrar.

You need to complete the prerequisite training before you can start your GP placements. The requirements are different depending on which fellowship you’re completing.

Some people deride the hospital system but the learning opportunities there are fantastic. It’s the last time in registrars’ lives that they’ll get really concentrated diseased states or groups of populations of people to look after. It’s a concentrated learning environment with really good supervision.

Dr John Buckley, GP and Director of Medical Education at GPTQ

Meeting the GP college requirements

We train you towards achieving a GP fellowship at either or both of Australia’s GP colleges: RACGP and ACRRM. This is the qualification required to practise independently as a GP in Australia. Both colleges require you to complete mandatory hospital rotations to meet your training and fellowship requirements.

You need to:

  • Complete a minimum of 12 months post-intern hospital training in an accredited Australian hospital.
  • Complete mandatory rotations and the paediatric requirement to meet the fellowship requirements of RACGP and/or ACRRM. The mandatory requirements can usually be met during any part of your Australian hospital experience. These rotations should be completed before you start your GP placements.

Mandatory hospital rotations and requirements for both GP colleges

To achieve Fellowship, both RACGP and ACRRM require doctors to complete:

  1. General medicine rotation
  2. General surgery rotation
  3. Emergency medicine rotation
  4. Paediatrics requirement

The paediatric requirement can be met via a a paediatric rotation or in different ways set out by the individual colleges. See below.

RACGP’s mandatory hospital rotations

In addition to completing mandatory rotations in medicine, surgery and emergency medicine, RACGP requires you to complete a minimum of three rotations of your choice relevant to general practice. You also need to meet the paediatric requirement, as outlined below. If the paediatric requirement is met by a paediatric term, this can be one of your three required additional rotations. If it is met or partly met by emergency rotations, these rotations can contribute to both the emergency and the paediatric requirements.

Your three elective rotations may be in: ​

  • Accident and emergency (ie. a second rotation in this discipline)
  • Anaesthetics
  • Dermatology
  • ENT
  • General medicine (ie. a second rotation in this discipline)
  • Geriatrics
  • Infectious diseases
  • Obstetrics and gynaecology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Orthopaedics
  • Prevocational general practice (PGPPP)
  • Psychiatry
  • Rehabilitation
  • Urology

Other relevant hospital experience may be acceptable, at the discretion of GPTQ and RACGP.

Visit RACGP’s general practice guide for students and junior doctors for more information.

ACRRM’s mandatory hospital rotations

In addition to medicine, emergency medicine and surgery, ACRRM requires you to complete rotations in:

  • Obstetrics and gynaecology
  • Anaesthetics

ACRRM also recommends the following disciplines:

  • Rehabilitation
  • Aged care
  • Palliative care
  • ICU
  • Psychiatry
  • Emergency medicine

You also need to meet the paediatric requirement, as outlined below. Visit ACRRM’s core clinical training policy for more details about mandatory hospital rotations.

Meeting your paediatric requirement for RACGP

Paediatric rotations are competitive, and it can be challenging to secure a place. You may need to accumulate paediatric experience through other relevant experience.

Here are some of the ways you can meet your paediatric requirement for RACGP:

  • A full term in paediatrics or paediatrics ED.
  • A half term of six weeks in paediatrics combined with a full term in emergency where children represent at least 20 percent of the presentations and you are the first doctor assessing them.
  • Two full terms in emergency, as long as only one is in your intern year and the other (or both) is in your second postgraduate year.
  • Completion of a relevant course that’s been approved by RACGP, such as the Diploma in Child Health from the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, in combination with some experience as above.

Visit RACGP’s website to find out more about RACGP’s paediatric requirement.

Meeting your paediatric requirement for ACRRM

For ACRRM, registrars who have not undertaken a 10 week paediatrics term must complete one of the following:

  • An integrated rural hospital term of at least 25 weeks, which includes paediatrics, under supervision (on or offsite) of a specialist paediatrician or a GP with advanced skills in paediatrics
  • Work in an Emergency Department for a minimum of six months where at least 25 percent of presentations are children
  • A 25 week term assisting a paediatrician (or paediatric team) providing outreach paediatric services
  • Community Primary Care post of no less than six months
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Child Health
  • Undertake Advanced Specialised Training in Paediatrics
  • Combinations of above, approved by ACRRM.

You can find out more about ACRRM’s paediatric requirement by downloading their Fellowship Training Handbook.

Get in touch with us to check whether you’re on track or have already met your paediatric requirement, if you are uncertain.

Explainer: What’s the prerequisite training for a GP registrar?

Explainer: Have I met my paediatric requirement?