What's it like to be a General Practitioner?
As a GP you will have broad medical knowledge and the skills to examine patients. A GP is usually the first port of call when a person has a health issue. You may treat common illnesses and minor injuries and refer more serious cases to other specialists. A GP is qualified to give general health advice and prescribe medications. You will often act as the central point of contact for patients and coordinate their holistic health needs.
Tasks and duties
- Provide competent, patient-centered care that addresses the patients' health needs and promotes wellness
- Administrating basic medical treatments, such as injections, immunization's, skin cancer removals, wound dressing, stitches and minor surgical procedures
- Keeping detailed, up-to-date records of all patient treatments and interactions for their own medical practice and Medicare
- Keeping up to date with the latest medical treatments and medications relevant to general practice/primary healthcare
- Advising patients on diet, nutrition, exercise, health care plans/ additional assessments, travel plans and other lifestyle habits to prevent or recover from illness
- Arranging admission of patients to hospital where necessary
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How to become a General Practitioner
- Complete a relevant degree such as the double degree Bachelor of Medical Studies / Doctor of Medicine. Alternatively, complete an undergraduate degree followed by a postgraduate qualification, such as the Doctor of Medicine masters-level program. Entry into these programs is based on prior completion of a bachelor degree, performance in the Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) and a score resulting from a semi-structured interview.
- Complete an internship at a recognised hospital (1 year).
- Apply for registration with the Medical Board of Australia.
- Obtain GP fellowship. There are two medical colleges in Australia through which you can obtain GP fellowship. The colleges in Australia are: the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), resulting in Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (FRACGP) and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM), resulting in Fellowship of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (FACRRM). To become a fellow of the FRACGP, you must complete an additional 3 years of general practice training following the intern year and pass an exam. Rural practice incorporates a further year of special rural skills training (3-4 years).
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