First Year Trainee Headcount*
Advanced Trainee Headcount*
New College Fellow Headcount*
Specialist Headcount*
Median Age*
Headcount Over 65 Years Old*
*WA figures sourced from NHWDS & MET

General practice is the largest medical specialty in Australia and is the cornerstone of Australia’s health care system. General practice is a unique discipline of largely relationship-based specialist medical care providing person-centred, continuing, comprehensive and coordinated whole person health care to individuals and families in their community (Ref: https://www.racgp.org.au).

In Australia, the GP:
  • is most likely the first point of contact in matters of personal health
  • coordinates the care of patients and refers patients to other specialists
  • cares for patients of all ages, across all disease categories
  • cares for patients over their lifetime
  • provides advice and education on health care
  • performs legal processes such as certification of documents or provision of reports in relation to motor transport or work accidents.
A career in general practice also offers the unique ability to have multiple and varied special areas of interest such as skin cancer medicine, travel medicine, cosmetic medicine, surgical assisting, family planning medicine, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, rural and remote health, occupational health and much more.

It’s a career where you need to know a little bit about everything so there’s a lot of breadth as opposed to other specialties where you go very detailed into one specific area. You’re able to be an advocate for patients and help as many people as possible.

As general practice is largely a relationship-based specialist medical discipline, GPs possess a unique combination of characteristics and skills, including:

  • Continuity of care
  • Management of uncertainty
  • Diagnostic and therapeutic skills
  • Holistic care
  • Communication
  • Coordination
  • Leadership, advocacy and equity
  • Autonomous decision making
  • Community focus
A career in general practice offers variability, portability, work-life balance and business ownership. It can also take you across the country and the world, so it opens a lot of doors for you.

There are multiple pathways (listed below) for general practice in Australia which all must commence by applying to either Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) or Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP).  Some of the pathways are offered by both colleges and some  offered by one.




1.  AGPT

2.  RVTS

3.  Rural Generalist

4.  Practice Experience Pathway


5.  Fellowship in Advanced Rural Pathway


6.  Independent Pathway


  1. Australian General Practice Training (AGPT) is the most common training pathway to Fellowship in Australia. If you are ready to start your career in GP, you can apply directly with your college of choice (ACRRM or RACGP). If you would like more information on GP training in WA, you can contact either of the colleges. 

    Please note as of Feb 2023 the management of the Australian General Practice Training Program transitioned directly to the RACGP and ACRRM. WAGPET is now closed, and all inquiries should be made directly to RACGP and ACRRM.

  2. Rural Vocational Training Scheme (RVTS) is a flexible, government-funded program providing vocational training for medical practitioners in remote and isolated communities and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities throughout Australia. 
  3. Rural Generalist Pathway is for general practitioners who provide primary care services, emergency medicine and have training in additional skills such as obstetrics, anaesthetics or mental health services. This involves a fellowship from either ACRRM or RACGP followed by advanced specialist/rural skills training. Refer to the following websites for additional information: ACRRMRACGP and WA Coordination Unit.
  4. Practice Experience Pathway (PEP) is a self directed program designed to support non-vocationally registered doctors on their journey to RACGP. 
  5. Fellowship in Advanced Rural General Practice provides the opportunity to learn about the specific health needs of rural and remove communities, and develop skills to meet those needs with an extra 12 months of advanced rural skills training. 
  6. Independent Pathway is a supported and flexible training pathway allowing you to craft a training plan to suit your career goals and negotiate your own placements.

General practice (GP) is a community-based career with most practitioners working in community practice. Most GPs are subcontractors to private practices, and some GPs work salaried for their state health departments in hospitals in specific fields. General practice is very flexible and varied which allows GPs to work in many different areas including, but not limited to; sexual health, skin cancer, family planning, travel medicine, surgical assisting, fertility medicine, medical education, custodian medicine, mental health, occupational medicine and sport medicine. 
Employment in general practice is usually a negotiation between a practice and GP. A GP can work in metropolitan areas, regional, rural or remote areas, with significant job opportunities in rural and remote general practice. 

N.B. Career prospects are dependent on both the supply of specialists and the projected future demand for services provided by medical specialists (including general practitioners). The complex interplay of supply and demand is currently being modelled at both a state and national level and will be included when it's available.