Message from the CEO

Dr Pat Giddings

Welcome to the Summer 2021 edition of our Journeys e-newsletter!

RVTS funding extended to 2025

I am pleased to advise that RVTS has extended our current agreement with the Commonwealth for the delivery of our program through to 30 June 2025 (well beyond the planned transition to College-led training).

This means RVTS will continue to provide our much-valued GP and Rural Generalist Fellowship training in the years ahead. This welcome news builds on strong interest in the RVTS program for the 2022 training year.

It is hard to believe that we are already on the cusp of a new year – so much has happened over the past 18 months or so, that time seems to have been ticking away and we haven’t noticed it! Despite the challenges of the pandemic, we have been forging ahead with our work at RVTS.

Read more.

Epic journey to general practice: A global quest and a dream fulfilled…in a remote Australian fishing village

Dr Mubashar Sherazi had a successful career in General Surgery – but his ultimate goal was to work in rural General Practice. After moving from his native Pakistan to Canada, and then to Queensland, he finally found his ‘pot of gold’ working as a GP registrar at Mallacoota, a small fishing village on Victoria’s remote north-east coast.

As the first registrar recruited to a rural community under RVTS’s Targeted Recruitment program, Mubashar is passionate about RVTS and the support it provides.

Earlier this month, he received the RACGP’s Rural GP in Training of the Year Award for 2021 – a perfect way to close off the year in which he also received his FRACGP and FARGP. Read more.

Congratulations to our recently Fellowed registrars!

Dr Mubashar Sherazi

Dr Vasuki Annamalai
Dr Zhi You (Ben) Fang
Dr Sarah Fatima
Dr Mubashar Sherazi

A number of RVTS registrars are currently awaiting conferral of Fellowship later in December – we look forward to congratulating them in the next issue of Journeys!

‘For our people and for Australia’: An RVTS registrar, her Sudanese colleagues…and their massive effort on the COVID frontline

Arriving in Australia from Sudan in 2011, Dr Ahlam (or Alanah) Ibrheem never expected that, a decade later, she would be a driving force in helping Sydney’s Sudanese community to get safely through a global pandemic…and get vaccinated.

But helping people has always been a priority for the RVTS registrar, who is currently completing her first year of GP training at Wilton, on Sydney’s southern rural outskirts, after time spent working as a doctor at Forbes and Parkes in central west NSW.

Alanah spoke with Patrick Daley about her work during the pandemic, and opportunities it has delivered for preventive healthcare for the local Sudanese community. She also spoke about her time working in Aboriginal health at Forbes, and why she’d love to return there one day. Read more.

Congratulations Louis!

All of us at RVTS send our warmest congratulations to Dr Louis Peachey for recently receiving ACRRM’s Life Fellowship Award for 2021!

Louis received the Award for his significant service to ACRRM and to the profession of Rural Generalism.

Louis has had a close association with RVTS for more than 20 years in various roles, including supervisor, committee member, clinical teaching visitor and mentor.

It is great to see a member of the RVTS family recognised in this way. Read ACRRM’s announcement by clicking here.

Quick fire questions with…

Dr Rohana Wanasinghe
Rural Generalist surgeon, Narrabri, NSW

Dr Rohana Wanasinghe is a Rural Generalist surgeon and practice principal in Narrabri, north-west NSW. He trained with RVTS to gain his FRACGP in 2015, and is now an RVTS supervisor. Recently, Rohana was named GP Synergy’s Supervisor of the Year for the New England / Northwest training region, for his outstanding contribution to training the next generation of GPs. Read Rohana’s answers to our quick fire questions by clicking here.

Farewell Jane, and thank you!

After 7 years with RVTS, Jane Delaney has decided to finish up in her role as Registrar Training Coordinator (RTC) with responsibility for administration support for our Exam Support and Remediation programs.

Jane has made a significant contribution to RVTS over the years, and has provided invaluable support to many registrars as an RTC.

She was instrumental in establishing the highly successful exam preparation “boot camps” as well as being a key support to the RVTS Remediation Program and Junior Supervisor Program. Jane has also been a keen contributor to the RVTS Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) working group.

Under Jane’s stewardship, these and other activities have flourished. On behalf of all those registrars, supervisors and staff you have supported, we thank you Jane. We wish you all the very best for the future – which hopefully includes realising some of those long awaited travel plans!

And that’s a wrap!

End of year update from RVTS Director of Training, Dr Ronda Gurney

Thanks to the RVTS education and program support teams for yet another jam-packed year of education activities that were delivered successfully and received enthusiastically.

Despite the continued challenges of the COVID environment, the RVTS program has not faltered, but has grown from strength to strength.

From webinars to workshops to exam prep to online learning to cultural education to supervisor support to clinical teaching visits – each program area has been affected by the curve-balls and challenges posed in 2021, and has risen to the occasion.

Read more.

Postcard from a vaccination coalface

by RVTS Supervisor Liaison Officer, Dr Chris Carroll

Like most rural and remote doctors, Dr Chris Carroll (one of RVTS’s Supervisor Liaison Officers) has been on the frontline during the COVID pandemic. She sent us this update on her town’s vaccination efforts and experiences to-date…

Since early April at our clinic in Parkes, we have jabbed 3613 arms against COVID, either with AstraZeneca or Pfizer. Prior to commencing our COVID vaccination clinics, we had vaccinated nearly 1500 people against influenza. It has been a big year!

Read more.

Work with us!

RVTS is currently offering two exciting opportunities to join the administration and program support team based in our Albury, NSW office.

Quality Officer – part time .6 FTE

The Quality Officer plays an integral role in ensuring that a culture of continuous quality improvement is maintained across the organisation, and would suit an individual highly skilled in administration with a working knowledge of quality management systems and accreditation. For further information and a copy of the Position Description, click here.

Registrar Training Coordinator / Exam Support and Remediation – full time

Registrar Training Coordinators (RTCs) are the primary point of contact for doctors training on the RVTS General Practice fellowship training program. In addition to the responsibilities of the RTC role, this position also provides direct administrative support to the Exam Support and Remediation Medical Educators. For further information and a copy of the Position Description, click here.

GP support roles

RVTS is always interested to hear from experienced GPs from all over Australia who would like to inspire and support the next generation of GPs in rural, remote and First Nations communities.

You can provide this support as a:

  • Supervisor
  • Clinical Teaching Visitor
  • Practice Experience Program (PEP) Mentor

Find out more by clicking here, and get involved in our great community and work.

Meet our staff!

by RVTS Supervisor Liaison Officer, Dr Chris Carroll

Ever wondered who the person is behind the phone (or keyboard) at the RVTS office when you get in contact with us…whether they grew up in a rural area, what they did before they started working here, and maybe what their interests are outside work? Well here’s your chance!

We’ve invited each of our RVTS administration and support staff to tell us a little more about themselves, and we’ve set up a page on our website where we will post their responses as they come in.

To read our staff profiles click here!

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About our cover art

“Walking Together” is an artwork created by artist Wendy Rix for RVTS, using our existing corporate colours. “Walking Together” represents the healing journey that RVTS undertakes with patients, doctors, health staff and communities. The artwork was commissioned in line with the RVTS Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and is 30x40cm acrylic on canvas. Wendy is a contemporary Indigenous visual artist living in Queensland, Australia. Her family are from Goodooga, New South Wales, and she is a descendant of the Yuwaalaraay people of that area. Wendy is a trained nurse, but painting is her passion. Read more at