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20 Jul 2015




You and Your Family Doctor: the best partnership in health

During Family Doctor Week, the AMA is promoting its Community Residency Program, a plan to train the next generation of family doctors.

The Program, which is currently being examined by the Government, was developed following the scrapping of the Prevocational General Practice Placements Program (PGPPP) scheme in the 2014 Federal Budget.

AMA President, Professor Brian Owler, said today that the AMA Community Residency Program would provide Junior Medical Officers (JMOs) with opportunities to undertake important general practice prevocational training in an effort to encourage more young doctors to choose a career in general practice.

“With the loss of the PGPPP, general practice is now the only major medical specialty that does not offer JMOs the opportunity of a prevocational training experience,” Professor Owler said.

“You have to remember that GPs must train for 10 to15 years to become providers of quality comprehensive care.

“The AMA had serious concerns that the loss of the PGPPP would see a decline in the general practice workforce, especially in rural and remote areas, at a time when community need for GPs was growing.

“So we developed an alternative GP training plan to ensure Australia could keep producing the GP workforce necessary to meet future community demand.

“Our plan sets out the design and funding principles that would support opportunities for JMOs to undertake rotations of up to 13 weeks into general practice, which would help them to experience life as a GP and enhance their clinical experience.

“A recent major study (Comparing general practice and hospital rotations, shows clearly the educational value of a general practice placement in comparison with hospital placements.

“The study recommends that the expansion of prevocational general practice placements should be considered to provide all junior doctors with the benefits of exposure to generalist skills in the community.

“The AMA’s Community Residency Program is affordable, and would be a very worthy investment in our future medical workforce,” Professor Owler said.


Details of the AMA Community Residency Program for JMOs are available at


  • At the time of its conclusion, the PGPPP funded 900 prevocational placements in general practice annually for JMOs.
  • The PGPPP was a valuable program for many reasons. It supported efforts to deliver more training and care in the community, supplementing the traditional hospital-based approach to medical training. Through careful targeting, it also boosted access to GP services in rural and remote communities.
  • The PGPPP gave JMOs a valuable insight into life as a GP, and informed their career choice.
  • The PGPPP also helped build an understanding of how general practice works, informing future practice in other specialty areas. With a deeper appreciation of the role of GPs, other specialists can make better decisions about patient care, and work more closely with their GP colleagues.


As part of Family Doctor Week 2015, the AMA has produced a number of videos highlighting the important contribution family doctors make to the health of the nation, including:

·         General Practice: More a Passion than a Job

·         Prevention and Care throughout Life

·         Plan for Pharmacists in General Practice

All the videos can be downloaded from the AMA Family Doctor Week website at

AMA Family Doctor Week is proudly sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Social Services, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Cutcher & Neale, and AMEX.

20 July 2015

CONTACT:        John Flannery                     02 6270 5477 / 0419 494 761

                            Odette Visser                      02 6270 5412 / 0427 209 753


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Published: 20 Jul 2015