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Early Career Doctors


Rural General Practice is a challenging specialty worth aspiring to as a career of first choice. It gives you more variety, flexibility, professional challenges and lifestyle options than any other medical specialty.

GPs are the frontline in primary health in the bush, doing more diagnosis than any other specialty. The diversity in general practice medicine means there is always stimulating and challenging work, with the reward of making a difference in patients’ lives, solving their medical problems, and helping them to be healthy throughout their lives.

When compared to their metropolitan counterparts, remote rural GPs may be described as 'extended generalists'. They provide a wider range of services and often carry a higher level of clinical responsibility in relative professional isolation.

So is Rural General Practice the career choice for you?

  • A GP is the hub of rural health care - As a GP, you are the first doctor people see. You will be the one to make the diagnosis and you will get the majority of diagnosis in medicine. The family doctor holds a special place within the family and the rural community. In terms of complete patient care, the opportunities for a GP in rural and remote medicine are unsurpassed. As GPs see the same patient for multiple medical problems, and due to the continuous/ongoing nature of primary care for chronic disease and family planning, GPs provide more continuity of care to their patients than Specialists, and are able to provide pre-emptive primary health care.
  • Rural GPs are in high demand - You can work in a range of multi-disciplinary environments. GPs are not restricted by hospital rules or locked into a hospital environment. Search our GP vacancies to get an idea of the different towns, practices and communities you can choose from.
  • The money is great and rural GPs outearn city doctors - Junior Medical Officers (or Interns) are paid a base salary, with professional development allowances, overtime and penalty rates added on top of this. The amount of overtime paid depends on how many hours a JMO works. The approximate starting salary for a JMO in NSW in 2017 is above $64,000 (excluding overtime). Once a GP, you can make around $300,000 a year without sacrificing your lifestyle, working 9 to 5, five days a week. As a rural GP you can earn even more, with government incentive schemes for GP Registrars training in rural and remote areas and financial incentives for new GPs practising in these areas. Research has shown that earnings for GPs in outer regional, rural and remote Australia are 11.5% higher than GPs working in major cities. In addition, there are new payments of up to $120,000 for city doctors to relocate to rural and remote areas.
  • It offers a flexible lifestyle and work-life balance - As a GP you have the option of part time, family-friendly hours and minimal weekend or on-call work. It’s a great career for you now and into the future as it allows you to adjust your working hours to suit your lifestyle and family. Find out more about the benefits of living and working in rural New South Wales.
  • It’s interesting and diverse work - It's not just coughs and colds! Rural GP work is challenging and rewarding with a wide variety of patient presentations. Depending on the specialised areas of rural training you elect, you may perform medical procedures such as anaesthetics, surgery or obstetrics, work in Aboriginal or remote health and add to the local rural doctor team with advanced skills in emergency medicine, paediatrics, palliative care or mental health. Research has found that GPs in rural areas often undertake more procedural work than their metropolitan colleagues, resulting in higher job satisfaction. The scope of practice is far wider than in urban areas. As a Rural GP, the diversity of medicine practised means you can be doing heaps or not much at all.

Right now is an exciting time to be involved in a career in Rural General Practice! If you are interested in general practice or just want to keep an open mind about future career options then you have come to the right place!

Pre-Vocational Doctors - are you planning your future career? Learn more about being a Rural GP and Rural General Practice.

GP Registrars - are you undecided about your future career? Learn more about being a Rural GP and Rural General Practice.