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Healthcare Professionals

Leading the way for future rural doctors

Rural doctors require a broad scope of practice to serve their communities. Teaching within RCSWA is grounded in rural generalism. Our medical education program is delivered by qualified clinicians living and working in Regional and Remote WA. Learning experiences transcend the silos of specialties, reflecting real-life rural practice. Student placements are entirely based in rural locations with experienced rural generalist doctors and rural or visiting specialists. Learning through real clinical cases forms the core of the program and complimented with supplementary small-group tutorials.

A day in the life of an RCSWA staff member

Dr Russ Hartley
GP-life is busy as the population is growing so quickly here in Busselton. There’s the opportunity to do all those sub-specialties - obstetrics, anaesthetics, procedural skin medicine, teaching - all of those things are available to GPs here, which gives you such a variety in your working day and week.
Dr Russ Hartley
RCSWA Medical Coordinator, Busselton

Meet some of our experts

Make a difference to rural health education

Within the RCSWA, you become part of a vibrant team of rural health practitioners sharing your experience with the next generation of doctors. In addition to teaching, there are opportunities for rural health research working alongside other researchers with interests in maternal and child health, palliative care, diabetes renal disease and many other disciplines.

Our staff bring a wealth of personal training and experience to their work. Within the RCSWA we encourage all staff to continue to develop their knowledge and skills in their areas of interest. This can be by teaching students, conducting research or doing further training and upskilling as a part of the School’s professional development program.

Our teaching and research staff are continually updating their knowledge and challenging the boundaries of rural health care. Training the next generation of rural doctors is a fundamental step to a sustainable workforce. Research conducted by the RCSWA is impacting on maternal obstetric care in gestational diabetes, reducing smoking levels and managing mental health problems in vulnerable and disadvantaged members of our society.

RCSWA is having an impact on the uptake of rural medicine by new medical graduates. Our work has an impact on health policy within our rural communities. Our graduates are helping drive a change in the opportunities for working in rural medicine. We collaborate with a wide group of rural health organisations through our training, research and career development activities and welcome anyone interested in joining us in driving change.

New opportunities to make a difference

Become a GP preceptor

The Rural General Practice Placements (RGPP) rotation offers four or five-week placements to final year University of Western Australia, University of Notre Dame and Curtin University medical students across rural Western Australia. GPs can join this program and help build a strong, sustainable rural workforce by becoming a RGPP preceptor. This entails mentoring different students throughout the year at their general practice and demonstrating to students the skills required to become a rural doctor.

If you are interested in joining the RGPP preceptor group, contact us for further information.

  • What’s involved in this program?

    Preceptors provide the clinical context for students to learn. It is the Discipline of General Practice’s responsibility to provide the teaching plan.

    This will already have been discussed with the student before they arrive, so the student will come with a set of learning objectives that could reasonably be expected of a four or five-week rural GP placement.

    The student will be prepared to discuss their objectives with you and be advised about how they should plan their time with you.

    For four or five weeks, you will give the student an opportunity to be part of your consultations, either in your office or in an adjoining room if available. You will give them the opportunity to conduct part or all of a consultation. You will offer constructive feedback that will help them develop their consultation skills.

    Clinical teaching does not have to interrupt your schedule. The ‘wave’ model of consultation allows an advanced student to see and present one patient to you within a standard 15-minute consultation, so you lose no consulting time. What it does require is strategic planning of patient appointments.

    These advanced level students are able to do ECGs, spirometry, research the EB for medications, interview all new patients, input clinical notes and coding into the computer, participate in chronic disease management clinics, respond to patient inquiries about their condition, do records audits, assist with home visits and more.

    Ask the student to run through their competencies, so that you can plan to use those which are most helpful in your practice. Please ensure these activities fit with your student's learning objectives.

  • Documentation required

    Other than providing evidence that you are a legally practicing professional, the University does not require accreditation for professional placements. In the immediate term, there are no accreditation responsibilities.

    You need to ensure that your liability or indemnity insurance allows you to accommodate final year students in your practice. A minimum of $10,000,000 insurance is necessary.

  • Benefits

    GPs can earn both RACGP and ACRRM QA/CPD points for teaching medical students.

    GPs can claim 40 x Category 1 points per triennium for teaching medical students by completing an ‘Educator ALM’. The form is available to GPs on the ‘my CPD’ section of the RACGP website and further information about the ALM is included in the QI & CPD handbook.

    Should you wish to get 20 to 40 RACGP Category 1 points, RCSWA offers a flexible delivery graduate certificate in rural and remote medicine with two medical education units.

    ACRRM members can claim 1 core point per hour for teaching medical students. UWA will apply for these on your behalf if we are informed of your ACRRM membership and provided with your membership number and completed log sheets.

    Each 3-hour teaching session attracts a $200 PIP payment from Department of Human Services (DHS), so for a five-week placement, you could be eligible to claim up to $8,000. There is no payment available from the RCSWA for these sessions.

    To claim, you will need to complete a PIP claim form for each student attached to your practice and add your CPD to the student's log sheet and sign it. PIP forms can either be lodged online through the HPOS system or faxed to be processed manually with the Department of Human Services, Medicare. Further information can be found at: humanservices.gov.au/pip

  • Support and resources

    The RGPP administration team will organise student accommodation. The student will stay in a caravan park, local nurses quarters or private self-contained accommodation.

    If you have any issues with the student or placement, the first point of contact is the RGPP Placement Officer and team on rgpp@rcswa.edu.au. Depending on the query, the admin team will either advise on the matter or connect you with the RGPP academic staff.

From Students to Mentors
Our RCSWA Alumni

Sarah Moore
It’s amazing how often you meet a doctor at a hospital or at a training workshop who you have that RCSWA connection and bond with.
Dr Sarah Moore
RCSWA Lead Medical Coordinator, Busselton

Get in touch

Let's Chat

Call the RCSWA Administrative Headquarters from 8.30am to 5.00pm (Western Standard Time):

Email us

Email your enquiry to:

Visit us

Our headquarters are located at Kalgoorlie Regional Hospital, St Alban's Road, Kalgoorlie

Or you can visit the UWA School of Medicine in Perth

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