WA Rural Generalist program training

WAGPET partners with the Rural Clinical School of WA (RCSWA), WA Country Health Service (WACHS), Rural Health West (RHW) and Western Australian Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) to provide a supported training pathway for doctors wishing to pursue a career as a rural generalist from medical school to fellowship.

Hospital year

While you are in your Hospital/Hospital based Core Generalist Training, you will complete mandatory rotations in:

WAGPET will support you with:

Advanced skills

As part of your rural generalist training, you’ll complete a minimum of 12 months training

in a procedural or non-procedural skill, enabling you to provide primary care within a

community general practice setting, as well as advanced services within a rural hospital. 

We recommend completing Advanced Specialised Training or Advanced Rural Skills Training 

prior to commencing your Community GP or Primary Care (CGT), so you can use your training within a specific discipline in community general practice. 

The disciplines include:

Obstetrics and gynaecology

Many women and their families living in rural WA wish to have their pregnancy and birth managed as close to home as possible. Rural generalists with obstetrics and gynaecology training provide this service. On completion of your training, you will be awarded an Advanced Diploma of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.


By undertaking training in paediatrics, you’ll develop skills to meet the community needs in child health. Children in rural Australia are more likely to face social, economic, and environmental conditions that result in poorer health and development outcomes. Registrars with an advanced skill in paediatrics bring appropriate services to these communities.

Aboriginal health

This advanced skill is best suited for registrars who wish to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for a large part of their career. If you choose to train in this skill, you’ll need to reflect on your own values, culture, identity, and practice and be willing to adapt.

Internal medicine

Internal medicine makes up the majority of clinical workload in rural and remote general practice. By undertaking the internal medicine advanced skill, you’ll build skills and knowledge in prevention and treatment of adult diseases.

Mental health

Undertaking the mental health advanced skill will enable you to offer specialised mental health services to your community and provide an advisory resource in mental health to other GPs.


This advanced skill enables you to build upon your basic surgical abilities and focus on additional surgical and endoscopy skills. A rural generalist with surgical skills works in a rural hospital alongside skilled medical, nursing, and allied health professionals delivering anaesthetics, emergency medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology services.


Rural and remote areas within WA require rural generalists to administer anaesthesia. As a rural generalist with anaesthesia skills you’ll work with a diverse and highly-skilled medical team in rural hospitals to support surgery and other procedures otherwise not possible in rural communities.

Remote medicine

Remote medicine is characterised by geographical, professional, and social isolation of practitioners, involving a multidisciplinary approach, overlapping and changing roles of team members, and a relatively high degree of GP substitution. You’ll be learning public health, emergency, and extended clinical skills in a cross-cultural context. You’ll serve small, dispersed, and often mobile populations with relatively high health needs, in an environment of climatic extremes and rapid technological change.


Emergency medicine

Rural generalist registrars training in emergency medicine develop a broader range of skills than many colleagues in urban teaching hospitals, due to limited physical resources, reduced availability of specialist staff, and longer lead times for retrieval to more specialised centres. Unlike doctors in urban hospital emergency departments, the rural emergency department doctor is usually required to provide autonomous initial management of most patients. 


Academic practice

Generalists in rural areas have an opportunity to improve the health of the whole of the community through teaching and research. Undertaking academic practice in a location offers the opportunity for research into the variation in illness profile and lifestyle, the greater burden of chronic disease, lower socioeconomic and educational status compared to urban settings, and other important limitations in rural communities. 


Population health

There is an imperative for delivery of population health services in rural areas to address inherent health inequalities. As a rural generalist registrar in these areas, you have an opportunity to improve the health of whole communities through population health approaches. In these regions rural generalists provide front-line population health services with greater autonomy and fewer resources.

Palliative care

Palliative care is an important specialty area for rural and remote general practitioners. As growth in older populations continues to rise the prevalence of death from diseases with a palliative phase will rise accordingly. The end-of-life care burden is increasing.

Training endpoint

On completion of the WARG program, you’ll have a Fellowship with ACRRM and/or RACGP* (plus a Fellowship of Advanced Rural General Practice), plus at least one advanced skill, enabling you to provide primary care within a community general practice setting, as well as advanced services within a rural hospital setting. WAGPET will help to support you in completing your training with competence and confidence as a rural generalist, ready to take on any clinical situation you’re faced with. This may be with additional advanced skills or clinical exposure and mentoring.