Extended Placement Program

Are you interested in spending more time in a rural location by undertaking the Year 3 Medicine in Society (Stream A Rural & Remote Medicine) and the General Practice rotations back to back in either Rotation 1 & 2 or Rotation 4 & 5?

Potential 2018 rural placement sites include:

  • Beaudesert
  • Blackbutt
  • Blackall
  • Charleville
  • Gayndah
  • Gladstone
  • Mt Tamborine
  • Kilcoy
  • Roma
  • St George
  • Tara
  • Theodore
  • Thursday Island
  • Wondai
  • Yeppoon

Quality accommodation and internet facilities will be made available and provided free of charge and a Medical Educator will be available to specifically support and assist you.

If Yes, consider applying to be part  of the Extended Placement Program.

Information about applying for EPP in 2019 will be available soon.

Report by Duncan McGrouther, who completed the Extended Placement Program in Theodore.

I was definitely feeling slightly hesitant about spending 13 weeks six hours away from Brisbane in Theodore, a town of about 500 people, but it ended up easily being the highlight of my first clinical year. It really has so much to offer both in terms of learning experiences and cultural experiences in a part of the country I’d probably never have visited otherwise.

The EPP basically means completing both the GP and MIS rotations in the same town, which has so many advantages. Firstly, you get way more choice about where you want to go for rural. Theodore was my choice because of its great reputation and was small enough to get to know lots of people in a short space of time.

In terms of clinical experience it was fantastic. From pretty much day one Ashley and I were able to get involved with all of the areas of patient care that are managed locally, which, as you might expect, involves a lot. This included taking GP and emergency patient histories, taking bloods, inserting cannulas, giving vaccines, performing ECGs and spirometry, using ultrasound, antenatal visits, minor procedures and stitching, writing referrals and liaising with the RFDS regularly. For all of these we received plenty of advice and feedback.

You get to know a lot of the patients in a completely different way to the rotations in Brisbane because you are seeing almost all of them both inside and outside of the clinic, giving you a much better picture of who they are and their place in the community. Even though you would get to experience these things in the MIS rotation regardless, the extra seven weeks is really great for mastering those tasks and leaves you feeling far more competent.

Aside from the clinical side of things, it was great spending time in the town and getting to experience a really different lifestyle that isn’t all that far away. Everything was much more personal – our orientation was dinner at our preceptor’s house who then drove us around the whole town (took about 10 minutes). And even though lots of hours were spent in the clinic, the registrar was more than happy to compensate by funding bi or tri-weekly trips to the pub.

There are plenty of big characters in Theodore and lots of them are pretty keen to meet new people and showcase what’s great about living rurally.

A few of the highlights would include mustering cattle, joyflights over the town, going underground in the nearby goldmine, heaps of camping and 4 wheel driving around the area and Fred Brophy’s boxing tent – a 6 week MIS rotation would not have been long enough to experience all of them!

EPP for me was a great chance to improve my clinical skills and has definitely made me consider being a rural GP in the future.

–          Duncan McGrouther, EPP Theodore 2015


Featured photograph by Laura Frederiksen.