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Hospital training requirements

Prerequisite training (featured image)

Hospital rotations 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

Hospital training

Both colleges require you to complete mandatory hospital rotations to meet your GP 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 and should be completed before you start your GP placements.

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

  • General medicine rotation (10 weeks FTE)
  • General surgery rotation (10 weeks FTE)
  • Emergency medicine rotation (10 weeks FTE)
  • Paediatrics requirement

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

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 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 here. Visit ACRRM’s core generalist training policy for more details about mandatory hospital rotations.

Recency of experience

In addition to completing the mandatory rotation/experience, if your last exposure to any of these broad disciplines was more than four years ago, it is likely that additional evidence may be required by the Colleges to demonstrate maintenance of competency.

This evidence will be required by GPTQ to confirm your eligibility to commence a GP placement. For further information, please refer to the GPTQ program information document on hospital training and eligibility to start GP terms.

Frequently asked questions

Can I start general practice terms without completing all of my mandatory hospital rotations?

As a general rule, you cannot. Any mandatory hospital rotation will need to be completed before you can start general practice terms. However, there may be circumstances where this is not possible. Discuss your options with your medical educator at the RTO.

What qualifies as a full hospital year?

A full hospital year is defined as 52 weeks of full-time work with a maximum of five weeks leave within that time.

Can I do my hospital year outside the training region of my RTO?

Yes, but only if you already hold an existing contract for that training hospital before you start your AGPT training. You can then complete the hospital year of your training outside your RTO’s region, as long as the placement is approved and counts towards your mandatory hospital rotation requirements. You will also need to advise the RTO of this intention at the time of accepting the offer to train with them.

Can a Diploma in Obstetrics and Gynaecology count towards my mandatory hospital rotations?

The Diploma itself will not count towards your mandatory rotations, but hospital time undertaken may count towards one of your mandatory hospital rotations or perhaps extended skills. You should discuss this with a General Practice Training Queensland administrator or Medical Educator.

Is Obstetrics and Gynaecology a requirement for GP Training?

It depends on the college for which you are seeking fellowship. Obstetrics and gynaecology is not a requirement for RACGP. However, it is for ACRRM.

Can a sub-specialty term in medicine (e.g. geriatrics or cardiology) count towards my medicine term requirement?

Yes, it may count.

Will a sub-specialty term in surgery (e.g. neurosurgery or urology) instead of general surgery count towards the surgical term requirement?

Yes, it may count.

Can the terms I have completed in my intern year be counted towards the mandatory hospital rotations?

Yes. In fact, in many cases, most of the core rotations are completed during internship.

Can I apply for the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program without having completed all of my mandatory hospital rotations?

Yes you can. You would then complete the hospital year of the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program wherein you would complete these requirements.

If I want to do more hospital work during the AGPT program, either as my first training year or later during my training, how do I arrange my hospital job?

You will need to arrange your own hospital work. Your regional training organisation (RTO) can give advice but cannot organise placements. You will need to either apply through the respective state health medical recruitment campaigns or directly to the accredited, approved hospitals in your training region. You should check with your regional training organisation (RTO) that the hospital and disciplines in which you wish to work are suitable to be able to count towards your AGPT training requirements.

Find out more about our training hospitals in SE QLD.

What are the mandatory hospital rotations for the AGPT program?

Both the ACRRM and RACGP require you to complete a paediatric requirement and the three mandatory hospital rotations: general medicine, general surgery and emergency medicine.
Both colleges have further – but different – mandatory requirements for additional hospital rotations. This training must be completed before starting your GP placements. For details please refer to the mandatory hospital rotations on this page above.

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