The Grampians Region is located within western Victoria, and extends from Bacchus Marsh in the east to the South Australian border in the west, and Patchewollock in the north to Lake Bolac in the south.
The Grampians region is named for the Grampians National Park (Gariwerd), the region’s most famous tourist destination. Gariwerd has sandstone mountains, walking tracks, waterfalls, lakes and forests, as well as historic Aboriginal sites.
The Grampians region also includes wheat fields and sheep stations to the north, beef and dairy to the south where the rainfall is higher, and several wineries to the east.
The Grampians medical training program is based in Ararat at East Grampians Health Service, but partners with St John of God Hospital in Ballarat and Maryborough District Health Service. All three sites have a strong gold-rush history, historic buildings and tourist attractions.
Our training program
The Grampians VRGP starts with the Intern year. There are 5 VRGP intern positions available through the PMCV match, and 3 intern positions are funded by the Commonwealth Junior Doctor in Training Program – Private Hospital Stream. This is one of the innovations of our program – we provide training and experience in both the public and private health sectors.
Rotations through the St John of God Hospital Ballarat site include the 2 core rotations Emergency and Internal Medicine.
The third core rotation, Surgery, can be undertaken at either the Maryborough site, with an additional day per week in Ballarat, or the Ararat site.
Another of our innovations is the General Practice rotation in one of 3 partner clinics: Clarendon Medical Centre and the Nightingale Clinic in Maryborough, and the Ararat Medical Centre in Ararat. We encourage interns to complete their General Practice and Surgical rotations at different sites.
The final intern rotation is the option to repeat of any of the first 4 rotations.
Accommodation is provided at all sites, and there is protected education and training time each week. Grampians interns are also able to attend intern education sessions at Ballarat Health Services.
PGY2+ – Rural Generalist Hospital Medical Officer
The Rural Generalist Hospital Medical Officer (RGHMO) position at East Grampians Health Service provides the next step in the VRGP pathway to consolidate the rural community experience obtained during the General Practice and or Surgical rotations in Ararat. As you will have learned during the Intern year, the role of a rural GP is not just to see patients in the clinic, but to provide care in the hospital and urgent care centres.
The RGHMO role builds on the learning and knowledge of the Intern year, and allows you to put this into practice with greater confidence and autonomy, but in a hospital environment and with GP’s that are familiar to you and keen to support your ongoing learning.
In the PGY2 year, East Grampians Health Service partners with Ballarat Health Services (BHS) to provide a paediatric rotation that is required for entry into an accredited GP training program. Among multiple other HMO positions, BHS is also able to provide rotations in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine and Anaesthetics, which are the identified streams for VRGP procedural training.
Procedural training positions are available at BHS in GP-Obstetrics and Gynaecology and GP-Anaesthetics.
In future, the RGHMO position also has the potential to be offered as a 6-month or 12-month registrar position that could be accredited to count towards General Practice training time. This position would provide experience in more independent management of the acute inpatient ward, residential aged care facilities and urgent care centre.
HEAR FROM OTHER VRGP TRAINEES IN OUR REGION
In 2020, the Rural Generalist position at EGHS is filled by Dr Daniel Wilson, Victorian Junior Doctor of Year in 2019. Dan is a passionate advocate for rural medicine and education, is a Board Director of the Rural Doctor’s Association of Victoria, and following the VRGP GP-Obstetrics procedural pathway.
Below is a quote from Dan about the VRGP:
“Being part of the Victorian Rural Generalist Pathway is empowering. As a future Rural Generalist, I am getting the some of the best exposure to clinical medicine across the spectrum of health care: from community, inpatient and aged-care residential medicine.
As part of the Victorian Rural Generalist Pathway, I am supported through my Regional Training Organisation (RTO), training College, and locally through supervision from rural GPs and Rural Generalists where I train. These supports also offering mentoring, helping to craft my career to something that will best suit the needs of future communities in the region and my lifestyle.
Being a future Rural Generalist means working to the fullest end of my scope of practice, and that is how I feel I am trained within the VRGP.”