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What is General Practice?

General practice is the provision of patient centered, continuing, comprehensive, coordinated primary care to individuals, families and communities. It is the cornerstone of the Australian healthcare system.

In 2010, general practice was acknowledged by the Medical Board of Australia as a medical specialty.

Who is a GP?

A GP is a registered medical practitioner who:

  • is qualified and competent for general practice anywhere in Australia
  • has the skills and experience to provide whole person, comprehensive, coordinated and continuing medical care, and
  • maintains professional competence for general practice.

Australia’s GPs work in all parts of Australia ranging from large cities and rural towns, to remote settlements in central Australia. There will always be a need for GPs and as other disciplines continue to sub-specialize, more and more complex general medicine is falling into the domain of general practice.

6 reasons to be a GP

A career in general practice is a rewarding and intellectually stimulating career that offers many professional and personal benefits.

Here are 6 reasons to be a GP:

  • Flexibility
  • Diversity
  • Opportunity
  • Portability
  • Continuity of care
  • Variety

General practice offers flexibility in the hours of work and the pace of training. Choose when and where you work, and how much or how little you work to maintain a healthy work/life balance.

As a GP, you need to use and adopt the full breadth of clinical content to be able to diagnose, treat and manage the medical needs of the whole person.

You’re not focusing on just one organ or one part of the body. General practice allows you to broaden your medical career – you can choose to make your areas of specific interest a prominent part of your practice or you can explore other options such as research, locum work and much more.

You can practice a wide range of skills including procedural and hospital care in the city, a rural setting, or overseas. The skills you develop are portable, providing you with many possibilities.

One of the most rewarding aspects of general practice is the relationship you build with your patients. General practice has more patient contact than any other specialty. Some GPs deliver the grandchildren of the children they also delivered.

No two days in general practice is the same, and no two patient presentations are either. When you really know your patients, even a simple presentation becomes deeply interesting.

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References

Department of Health and Ageing