Insight into rural and remote GP training and supervision in Queensland

Abstract

Many rural and remote communities are struggling to attract and retain GPs while experiencing poorer population health outcomes and burden of disease. Therefore, the provision of a reliable rural GP workforce is vital.

Registered Training Organisations provide high quality training experiences for GP registrars. A collaborative project between JCU and Monash University aimed to identify aspects of GP training which impact registrars’ experience. Perspectives were obtained from GP registrars, supervisors, and practice managers. This presentation focuses on training and supervision aspects in rural and remote north-west Queensland.

A mixed methods study was undertaken and both quantitative and qualitative data were collected. A modified survey based on the adapted Critical Access Hospital Community Apgar Questionnaire was used to collect data about perceptions of rural GP training and supervision with the highest rated factor being medical quality and the lowest rated being scope of practice.

Semi-structured interviews were then used to gather additional information about training and supervision experiences. Interviews were thematically analysed and primary themes relating to attractors and barriers for workforce training and supervision, and impact of rural remote practice were elicited. Attractors included lifestyle, rural medicine, scope of practice, services and incentives while barriers included workforce factors, lifestyle, location, services and incentives.

Rural remote GP training experiences contribute a variety of attractors and barriers which impact on a positive training experience for registrars. Identification of these factors make it possible to tailor training accordingly and foster a positive rural experience that may translate to a future reliable workforce.

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