A career as a vocational GP offers you the opportunity to enjoy a challenging and diverse career. Why choose one specialty when you can choose them all?

Opportunities in GP

The Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program provides fully supported vocational training for doctors to pursue specialist registration as a general practitioner (GP). Career opportunities in general practice are varied and can be customised to suit individual needs and interests.

For information about opportunities to experience general practice as a junior doctor, go to Planning your GP Career.

What is a vocational GP?

Being a vocational GP means rather than specialising in one or more areas, you specialise in them all; this allows you to see a true variety of medicine. Because GPs are often the first port of call, an invaluable service, it means anything can walk through your door, and the variety and scope of medicine you will encounter can be equally rewarding and challenging.

Being a vocational GP enables you to build a strong patient base; it allows you to provide continuing care that can span generations and lifetimes.

Find out more about GP training

Exploring specialties

Many GPs are interested in one or more speciality areas that they will look to develop at some point in their career. Developing areas of special interest can help you to have a fulfilling career. You may choose to study one specific area or a number. Special interests can be explored at any point during your GP training, from your hospital year right through to your Advanced Specialised Training (ACRRM) or Advanced Rural Skills Training (FARGP). It depends on whether you choose to gain fellowship with the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) or the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP)

Areas of special interest include:

  • Aboriginal health
  • anaesthetics
  • paediatrics and adolescent health
  • psychology and mental health
  • small town general practice and Royal Flying Doctor Service
  • surgery
  • emergency medicine
  • medical administration
  • women’s health services, obstetrics and family planning
  • occupational health
  • palliative care
  • drug and alcohol
  • sports medicine
  • travel medicine.
Aboriginal Health Training

Aboriginal Health Training (AHT) offers a unique experience of community medicine. Spend your time working with a passionate team to provide holistic, culturally-appropriate, preventative health care and chronic disease management to the local Aboriginal community. WAGPET offers registrars many opportunities to spend time during GP training in an Aboriginal health setting.

AHT provides a wonderful learning opportunity for doctors-in-training, helping you to become a clinically and culturally-competent doctor. Some of the many benefits include:

  • working with a passionate and supportive multidisciplinary team, dedicated to holistic community care
  • hands-on and stimulating with a variety of patient presentations
  • exposure to chronic disease management and preventative health programs
  • unique style of patient consultations with a mixture of booked and walk-in appointments
  • comprehensive support and education available including a high level of supervision, additional exam preparation sessions and cultural mentoring
  • generous salary, employee benefits and work hours
  • building close links to the local community, developing life-long connections
  • making a difference to the lives of Aboriginal people.

Make the experience your own. You can choose the location, duration and type of work that best suits your needs and interests. There are a variety of Aboriginal Medical Services (AMSs) across the state, each offering their own unique opportunities and training.

Find out more about Aboriginal Health Training.

Why rural?

Opportunities to go rural are available throughout your medical journey from a medical student to a Fellowed GP. Going rural during your GP training is a great way to experience what a career in rural general practice can offer while you train.

Some great reasons to go rural, particularly during your GP training include:

  • great life experience
  • opportunities for professional development
  • working as a rural GP can be very different than working in the city
  • great social life
  • great support network between registrars
  • across many rural areas of WA there is a shortage of GPs
  • you can try going rural for a single six-month term
  • rural incentives
  • many regional towns are able to provide employment for partners and good schooling for children.

Find out more about Rural Training.

Academic posts

If you are interested in contributing to the growing evidence to support general practice, teaching medical students or becoming involved in the medical school curriculum, undertaking an academic post during your training provides an opportunity to foster your skills in evidence-based medicine, medical education and leadership.

An academic post will see you undertake research and spend one training term acquiring specific academic skills through tailored learning plans with mentoring and support from training providers, universities and the Department of Health.

Research forms the basis for the medicines you will use throughout your career and research in primary care contributes to safer and evidence-based patient outcomes. As an Academic GP, you will not only positively affect the lives of your patients but your research has the potential to help thousands of others around the world. Undertaking an academic post as a registrar provides an insight into the academic environment and how you can incorporate academic work into your career as a GP. 

“I honestly can’t recommend general practice highly enough. Far from being the ‘easy option’ that it is sometimes perceived as, I actually think it is one of the most challenging medical specialities, both in terms of knowledge and in terms of its personal and emotional demands on us as practitioners. Literally ANYTHING could walk through the door thirty times a day, and you have to have some idea of how to proceed. We are true generalists. I feel lucky every day to be in this job.”

Dr Danielle Rebettes, GP registrar

GP training in WA

WAGPET provides registrars with the opportunity to complete their GP training at quality-accredited training facilities across the breadth of WA.  The training program is designed to reflect the flexibility and variety a career in general practice offers and the AGPT program allows for individual tailoring of training to build the best foundations for a future in general practice.

GP registrars will complete a practical education and training program to prepare for Fellowship exams with ACRRM and/or RACGP.

Find out more