Rural Generalist

The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine#

The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) was formed in 1997 as an acknowledgment of:

  • the importance of rural and remote medicine as a broad and distinctive form of general practice
  • the need for well-designed vocational preparation and continuing medical education for rural doctors, and
  • the need to address the shortage of rural and remote doctors in Australia, by providing them with a separate and distinctive professional body.

ACRRM is a professional college accredited by the Australian Medical Council to define standards and deliver training in the medical specialty of general practice.

At the time of writing this document, an application to have Rural Generalist medicine recognised as a protected title and as a specialised field within the speciality of general practice is being progressed.

What is a General Practitioner?#

The General Practitioner is the doctor with core responsibility for providing comprehensive and continuing medical care to individuals, families and the broader community. Competent to provide the greater part of medical care, the General Practitioner can deliver services in the primary care setting, the secondary care setting, the home, long-term residential care facilities or by electronic means – wherever and however services are needed by the patient within their safe scope of practice.

Fellows of ACRRM receive specialist registration as a General Practitioner with the Medical Board of Australia and can practise in any location throughout Australia.

ACRRM’s curriculum and training program also prepares doctors to be Rural Generalist medical practitioners. test

What is a Rural Generalist Medical Practitioner?#

A Rural Generalist medical practitioner is a General Practitioner who has specific expertise in providing medical care for rural and remote or isolated communities. A Rural Generalist medical practitioner understands and responds to the diverse needs of rural communities: this includes applying a population approach, providing safe primary, secondary and emergency care, culturally engaged Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ health care as required, and providing specialised medical care in at least one additional discipline.

What is Rural Generalist Medicine?#

Rural Generalist Medicine is the provision of a broad scope of medical care by a doctor in the rural context that encompasses the following:

  • Comprehensive primary care for individuals, families and communities
  • Hospital in-patient care and/or related secondary medical care in the institutional, home or ambulatory setting
  • Emergency care
  • Extended and evolving service in one or more areas of focused cognitive and/or procedural practice as required to sustain needed health services locally among a network of colleagues
  • A population health approach that is relevant to the community working as part of a multi-professional and multi-disciplinary team of colleagues, both local and distant, to provide services within a ‘system of care’ that is aligned and responsive to community needs. (World Summit on Rural Generalist Medicine, Cairns, 2014).

What is a Fellow of ACRRM?#

A Fellow of ACRRM (FACRRM) is a medical specialist who has been assessed as meeting the requisite standards for providing high-quality Rural Generalist medical practice. This involves being able to:

  • provide and adapt expert primary, secondary, emergency and specialised medical care to community needs;
  • provide safe, effective medical care while working in geographic and professional isolation;
  • work in partnership with Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander peoples and other culturally diverse groups; and
  • apply a population approach to community needs.

Attributes of a Rural Generalist Medical Practitioner#

The following attributes or expected behaviours are required of a Rural Generalist medical practitioner. Each Learning Area details attributes specific to the Learning Area.

At.1 Accountability: Accept responsibility for your actions. At.2 Adaptability: Respond quickly to change and take advice from others where necessary. At.3 Agency: Take ownership and responsibility for professional decisions and behaviour. At.4 Clinical courage: Back your clinical judgement in circumstances where urgent clinical decisions need to be made. At.5 Commitment: Be dedicated to task. At.6 Compassion: Recognise sufferings and misfortunes of others and have sympathy for them. At.7 Empathy: Understand and share the feelings of another. At.8 Honesty: Open and transparent with all parties about clinical decision making. At.9 Humility: Have a modest view of one’s importance. At.10 Initiative: Assess and initiate things independently. At.11 Integrity: Maintain high levels of professional and ethical behaviour. At.12 Patience: Accept or tolerate delays and problems without becoming annoyed or anxious. At.13 Pragmatism: Work within the constraints of your environment. At.14 Receptivity: Be open and responsive to ideas and suggestions. At.15 Reflection: Review outcomes of professional behaviours and, if necessary, make changes. At.16 Resilience: Continue to perform at a high professional level with positive adaptive changes despite adverse personal or professional circumstances. At.17 Resourcefulness: Judge what needs to be done and act. At.18 Self-knowledge: Know your own limitations. At.19 Self-reliance: Rely on one's own powers and resources rather than those of others. At.20 Sensitivity: Show consideration, care and tact.

Domains of Rural and Remote Practice#

The eight domains of rural and remote practice describe the contexts of rural and remote practice.

  1. Provide expert medical care in all rural contexts: patient-centred approach, diagnosis, management and team work.
  2. Provide primary care: whole patient care, longitudinal care, first point of care, undifferentiated presentations, care across lifespan, acute and chronic care and preventive activities.
  3. Provide secondary medical care: inpatient management, respond to deteriorating patient, handover, safe transfer and discharge planning.
  4. Respond to medical emergencies: hospital & prehospital, resource organisation, initial assessment and triage, emergency medical intervention and patient evacuation.
  5. Apply a population health approach: community health assessment, population level health intervention, statutory reporting and disaster planning.
  6. Work with Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, and other culturally diverse communities to improve health and wellbeing: strengths-based, respect and understanding
  7. Practise medicine within an ethical, intellectual and professional framework: ethical practice, clinical documentation, quality and safety, professional obligations, continuous learning, leadership, teaching and research.
  8. Provide safe medical care while working in geographic and professional isolation: resourcefulness, independence, flexibility, technology, professional network and extended practice.
Last updated on by acrrmbot