Tasmanian Rural Generalist Pathway

A Rural Generalist (RG) is a medical practitioner who is trained to meet the specific current and future health care needs of Australian rural and remote communities, in a sustainable and cost-effective way, by providing both comprehensive general practice and emergency care, and required components of other medical specialist care in hospital and community settings as part of a rural healthcare team. The Collingrove Agreement

The Tasmanian Rural Generalist Pathway (TRGP) facilitates aspiring rural GPs to gain the skills their communities need. All rural generalists are general practitioners with either a Fellowship of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (FACRRM) or a Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (FRACGP)/Fellowship in Advanced Rural General Practice (FARGP).

After university that means training with supervision and ongoing education in both hospital and the community takes at least another five years before they are independent practitioners. Rural Generalists may then work in either or both the community and the hospital, with the capability to work in general practice, in an emergency facility and in an area of additional skill. This may be palliative care, mental health, polar medicine, anaesthetics, retrieval medicine, paediatrics, emergency medicine, adult internal medicine, obstetrics/gynaecology, general surgery, indigenous health and polar medicine.

Image: Removing patient from helicopter (provided by ACRRM)

Why do we need Rural Generalists  >

Tasmania's rural and remote communities have poorer health outcomes and health care access than our urban communities. There is a medical workforce mal-distribution with fewer doctors in rural and remote areas. Rural Generalists provide a broad scope of clinical practice, in both primary care and hospital services, to address the needs of their communities.

Who are our local Rural Generalists >



Rural Generalist Skills


Dr Peter Arvier


Emergency Medicine

North West Regional Hospital / Mersey Community Hospital

Dr Jeff Ayton


Remote Medicine

Australian Antarctic Division

Dr Darren Briggs


Emergency Medicine

Mersey Community Hospital

Dr Jane Cooper


Adolescent Health

Don Medical Clinic Devonport

Dr Chris Hughes


Emergency Medicine

Saunders Street Clinic Wynyard

Dr Kate KlozaFACRRMRemote MedicineAustralian Antarctic Division

Dr Meg McKeown


Remote Medicine (Austere Medicine)

Moreton Group Medical Services (Tasmania)

Dr Eve Merfield


Emergency Medicine

Dover Medical Centre

Dr/Prof Dennis Pashen


Emergency Medicine/O&G

Queenstown General Practice

Dr Michael Smallwood




Launceston General Hospital /Ambulance Tas / Aeromedical Retrieval Service

Dr Jan Radford


Mental Health

West Tamar Health

Have we missed you or someone you know?    Please let us know rural.pathways@health.tas.gov.au

Other Tasmanian Rural Generalist graduates >



Rural Generalist Skills


Dr Michelle Hannan


Emergency Medicine/Retrieval


Dr Molly Shorthouse


Mental Health


Dr Brian Treanor




Dr Nitya MalhotraFACRRMPaediatricsOverseas
Dr Edi AlbertFACRRMRemote MedicineOverseas

Have we missed you or someone you know?    Please let us know tasrural.pathways@health.tas.gov.au

How to become a Rural Generalist in Tasmania >

The Tasmanian Rural Generalist Pathway (TRGP) consists of a number of interconnected pathways throughout the Tasmanian system.

Please refer to the TRGP Training Pathway Summary

For more detail about each portion of the pathway, contact the following organisations:

The University of Tasmania - School of Medicine has a Rural Application Process and a Rural Application Process Funding Scheme Grant

There is also an Aboriginal Entry Application Process at the University of Tasmania School of Medicine.

The University of Tasmania Rural Clinical School: provides support to medical students from the North West region at selection, opportunity to visit during Years 1-3 of medical school, and the option to stay and train in the North West in Years 4-5 of medical school. Throughout Year 4, students attend general practice every Tuesday. Year 5 students undertake a five week attachment at a remote medical practice.

The University of Tasmania Launceston Clinical School: provides support to medical students from the northern region at selection, opportunity to visit during Years 1-3 of medical school, and the option to stay and train in the north in Years 4-5 of medical school. This includes rotations to general practice in places like Campbell Town, Deloraine, George Town, Longford, Oatlands, Scottsdale, St Helens, St Marys and Swansea as well as Launceston-based practices.

The Tasmanian Health Service (THS): provides guaranteed internships for all University of Tasmania domestic graduates. These can be in any region of Tasmania. All interns receive the rotations required for general registration, including medicine, surgery and emergency. In addition, all three regions offer rural primary care intern placements (King Island, Queenstown, Huonville, Scottsdale, St Helens). These are managed in collaboration with Ochre Health who were the recipients of the Rural Junior Doctor Training Innovation Fund.

After intern year, RMOs may elect to undertake a two year dedicated TRGP RMO rotation in the north-west that assures you receive the rotations you require for your general practice training. There is also a dedicated TRGP anaesthetic rotation at the LGH, and a dedicated TRGP paediatric rotation at the RHH. There are also opportunities to complete a 13 week GP RMO rotation at either Scottsdale in the north, or Devonport in the north west.

Once a GP Registrar, a number of additional skills posts are available at the THS including emergency, anaesthetics, paediatrics, mental health and more. For a full list of currently accredited additional skills posts in both the hospital and community, please see the GPTT web page.

The Centre of Antarctic Remote and Maritime Medicine also provide a unique opportunity to work and train in Polar Medicine with the Australian Antarctic Division in Tasmania.

General Practice Training Tasmania: train GP registrars on the Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) program. These registrars may train to either the ACRRM or RACGP requirements. This is a federal government funded training program and operates on a statewide basis.

The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine: have AGPT, Remote Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS) and Independent Pathway trainees in Tasmania.

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners: have AGPT trainees in Tasmania.

A special note for International doctors looking to move to Tasmania to work in general practice. The Rural Workforce Agency in Tasmania, HRPlus is your best first contact. They can assist you in identifying the possible pathways to becoming a rural generalist in Tasmania, including through the Practice Experience Program (PEP).

If you aren’t sure where to start, you can contact: tasrural.pathways@health.tas.gov.au, Dr Peter Arvier, Director, Rural Pathways peter.arvier@health.tas.gov.au or Sharee Taylor, Rural Pathways Project Support Officer sharee.taylor@health.tas.gov.au

Supports available to complete the Tasmanian Rural Generalist Pathway >

Tasmanian Rural Generalist Scholarship 2019 - Building Medical Workforce Capacity in Rural and Remote Tasmania for further information refer to the TRG Scholarships Guidelines and Forms or  email: rural.pathways@health.tas.gov.au

GPTT has scholarships for GPTT registrars with applications to be done in advance of the completed course. These are open twice a year, around May and November. For more information see the GPTT website.

Rural Doctors Association of Tasmania (RDAT).  RDAT is the Tasmanian branch of the national Rural Doctors Association of Australia that advocates for and on behalf of rural doctors around the country at all levels of politics, jurisdictional governance and health organisations. Further information and application forms can be found on the RDAT website

Postgraduate Medical Education Council of Tasmania (PMCT)

The Rural & Regional Medical Training Hub at the University of Tasmania is funded by the Commonwealth Government to support and expand postgraduate medical training opportunities in rural Tasmania.  If you require further information please email the Training Hub.

Centre for Antarctic, Remote and Maritime Medicine (CARMM)

What opportunities exist as a Rural Generalist in Tasmania >

Rural Procedural Grants Program

For procedural GPs practicing in surgery, anaesthetics or obstetrics in ASGC-RA 1-5 areas; and GPs practicing emergency medicine in ASGC-RA 2-5 areas

$2000 per day for up to 10 days for procedural GPs, and up to 3 days for emergency medicine GPs.

Tasmanian Rural Generalist Pathway Governance Information >

The Tasmanian Rural Generalist Collaborative Group ('the Collaborative')

The Tasmanian Rural Generalist Pathway Coordination Unit (TRGP-CU) undertook a governance review and consulted with key stakeholders to establish a governance structure that would meet the needs of the TRGP in response to implementation of national policies such as the National Rural Generalist Pathway and the establishment of Coordination Units.

Members of the Collaborative and the TRGP-CU work together (and with additional stakeholders) to progress tasks/projects for the TRGP through action-based groups. This can be through pre-existing groups or through creating new working groups that can be disbanded once the task/project is complete.

The purpose of the Collaborative is to ensure organisations involved with the TRGP work together to provide a consistent and coordinated approach across the six years of post-graduate rural generalist training and post fellowship support.

The Centre for Antarctic, Remote and Maritime Medicine (CARMM) Council is the stewardship body that maintains a strategic overview of the TRGP and provides guidance as required to the TRGP-CU.

The Collaborative is representative of all stakeholders and works through a number of smaller action groups to address specific issues relevant to the functioning of the TRGP. The Collaborative includes:

  • The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
  • The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine
  • General Practice Training Tasmania
  • HR Plus Tasmania
  • Remote Vocational Training Scheme
  • Tasmanian Health Service
  • Department of Health
  • University of Tasmania
  • Postgraduate Medical Council of Tasmania
  • Rural Doctors Association Tasmania
  • RUSTICA - The National Rural Health Student Network rural health club for the University of Tasmania
  • Registrar Rep

The action groups communicate their outcomes and recommendations to the Coordination Unit to inform current or future TRGP priorities. The action groups are as follows:

  • National Rural Generalist Pathway Jurisdictional Implementation Forum (Coordination Units)
  • Lead Collaborative Group (Rural Junior Doctor Training Innovation Fund)
  • Rural Junior Doctor Training Innovation Fund Policy Working Group
  • Tasmanian Heath Service Credentialing Committee
  • Health Workforce Stakeholder Group (HR Plus Tasmania led)
  • Expert Advisory Group (led by Rural and Regional Training Hub)
  • New Group (e.g. working group to develop TRGP Strategic Plan)
  • New Group (e.g. TRGP communication and marketing)

The Coordination Unit facilitates lines of communication within the Collaborative as well as being the conduit for sharing information across the CARMM-TRGP-Collaborative network. The TRGP-CU identifies and prioritises tasks for the Collaborative to undertake. The TRGP-CU seeks advice from the CARMM Council as necessary.

History of the Tasmanian Rural Generalist Pathway >




  • New Rural Generalist graduates include A/Prof Jan Radford FRACGP/FARGP (Mental Health), Dr Meg McKeown FACRRM (Remote Medicine), Dr Kate Kloza FACRRM (Remote Medicine), Dr Rob Dickson FACRRM   (Emergency Medicine)
  • Two Additional Skills posts in Adult Internal Medicine accredited at North West Regional Hospital
  • A/Prof Ruth Stewart succeeds Prof Paul Worley as the new National Rural Health Commissioner
  • The Commonwealth Government provided grant funding to establish Coordination Units in each state and   territory
  • Tasmania established the Tasmanian Rural Generalist Pathway Coordination Unit (TRGP-CU)


  • New Rural Generalist graduates include Dr Jane Cooper (FRACGP/FARGP), Dr Nitya Malhotra (FRACGP/FARGP)
  • Tasmanian Rural Generalist Scholarships were awarded to Rural Clinical School students Grace Waring, Frankie Whitwell, Angus Ewing and Kade Lynd
  • Rural Generalist Dr Natalie Burch FACRRM from Scottsdale was awarded the inaugural Tasmanian Rural Doctor of the Year award.
  • An additional skills post in Mental Health were established through Mental Health Services North West
  • Under the National Partnership Agreement a GP RMO rotation was established at East Devonport Medical Centre with RMOs completing a day per week at the Mersey Community Hospital Emergency Department; rotations were also made available in anaesthetics at the LGH and paediatrics at the RHH for people intending to do GP training for 2019-2020
  • CARMM was launched www.carmm.org.au
  • Dr Peter Arvier succeeds Dr Allison Turnock as Director, Rural Pathways for TRGP


  • Inaugural Tasmanian Rural Generalist Scholarship awarded to Launceston Clinical School graduate Dr Trent Carr
  • Rural intern rotations commenced in Queenstown, King Island, Flinders Island, St Helens and Huonville through the RJDTIF
  • The Tasmanian Rural Generalist Pathway was funded by the Australian Government through the National Partnership Agreement on Improving Health Services in Tasmania
  • The Centre for Antarctic, Remote and Maritime Medicine (CARMM) MOU was signed by all parties. The TRGP is included in the remote component of CARMM
  • The Collingrove Agreement defines a Rural Generalist
  • The National Rural Generalist Taskforce Advice to the Commissioner was published recommending the establishment of a National  Rural Generalist Pathway
  • An Allied Health Rural Generalist Pathway was commenced in Tasmania


  • New Rural Generalist graduates include Dr Darren Briggs (FACRRM), Dr Michelle Hannan (FACRRM), Dr Chris Hughes (FRACGP / FARGP), Dr Brian Treanor (FACRRM)
  • An additional skills post in Retrieval Medicine was established at the LGH
  • A GP RMO rotation was established at Scottsdale   Medical Centre, now Ochre Medical Centre Scottsdale with funding from the DoH   Tasmania
  • A collaborative group lead by Ochre Health were   successful in tendering for the Rural Junior Doctor Training Innovation Fund   (RJDTIF)
  • Successful collaborative tender for the Tasmanian   Postgraduate Rural and Regional Training Hub
  • Prof Paul Worley appointed as the inaugural National   Rural Health Commissioner is appointed
  • The inaugural Tasmanian Rural Health Conference   was held


  • Dr Allison Turnock succeeds Dr Paul Fitzgerald as Director, Rural Pathways for TRGP
  • The University of Tasmanian introduced the Rural Application Process and the Aboriginal Entry Application Process


  • New Rural Generalist graduates include Dr Molly Shorthouse (FACRRM)


  • The Tasmanian Rural Generalist Pathway commenced with State project funding - Four dedicated TRGP RMO roles were established in the North West region


  • Project consultants from Bond University canvassed opinions from stakeholders around Tasmania before delivering a Final Report to the project group in May 2013
  • In September 2013, the DHHS appointed a Director of Rural Pathways, Dr Paul Fitzgerald, to the GP & Primary Care team to develop and implement the Tasmanian Rural Generalist Pathway


  • The Department of Health and Human Services together with the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, General Practice Training Tasmania, University of Tasmania Rural Clinical School, Tasmanian Health Organisations and Health Recruitment Plus, commenced a project to develop a model for rural medical generalist practice in Tasmania. This was assisted by Health Workforce Australia funding.

For all Enquiries and Feedback

For all enquiries please email:  tasrural.pathways@health.tas.gov.au

If you would like to provide specific feedback please email us