RARMS is agile and flexible to its core. We have 20 years experience successfully working with GPs, nurses and medical practice staff to create rural practice opportunities that balance the needs of health professionals and those of our communities. Its not about committing to 10 years. There are lots of ways in which you can help remote and Indigenous Australians. As a charity, RARMS wants to make rural practice an opportunity to grow your skills and build your income while helping Australians in genuine need of health and medical care".
National Honours for Rural Specialist
Dr Patrick Giltrap, OAM
Rural practice is highly regarded as a field of specialist practice in Australia.
Dr Giltrap is RARMS' longest serving general practitioner, having moved to Gilgandra to start practicing in 1983. His name is synonymous with community service. Dr Giltrap holds fellowship with both the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (FRACGP) and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (FACRRM).
In 2001 Patrick was awarded the Australian national honour, the Centenary Medal, for his service to medicine and the community. In 2005 Patrick was named by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners as "General Practitioner of the Year." In 2010 Patrick was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for service to medicine as a general practitioner, and to the community of Gilgandra.
BENEFITS OF RURAL PRACTICE
Living and working in rural and remote Australia offers a wide range of personal and professional benefits.
Rural and remote communities are well known for their hospitality and welcoming spirit. They are located in some of the most amazing natural landscapes, offering good quality public schools, accessibility by air to major capitals like Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne and affordable housing.
Rural and remote Australia offers a relaxed lifestyle and the opportunity to live in a unique environment. You will experience a supportive and welcoming local community and benefit from living close to work.
The professional benefits of working in a rural and remote area include:
- flexibility of work options
- greater autonomy and responsibility
- the variety of working in a multidisciplinary team
- a diverse patient mix
- access to professional development and support networks that will foster skills and develop leadership
- a range of financial benefits such as rural and remote allowances.
A Truly Unforgettable Time in Warren NSW
Dr Shaheed Choudury
My time with RARMS Health in Warren :"has been a journey where I have made many friends and made a special connection with the community. The time I have spent here has been truly unforgettable. During my time here, I have felt privileged to have helped the community in the past three and a half years. In particular, the highlights of my time here have been setting up a skin cancer clinic, and a focus on chronic disease management - Diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and emphysema etc. I enjoyed working here. I would like to thank the RARMS staff for their excellent support. It has been a pleasure to work with the RARMS staff.”
FLEXIBILITY AND CARE ARE AT THE CENTRE OF OUR MODEL
RARMS Health pioneered the implementation of the model 'Walk In, Walk Out' in Australia to help rural, remote and Indigenous communities get access to high quality health and medical care. It has been recognised as the most successful model of rural and remote practice in Australia (see research articles here).
As an Australian charity, our role is to support rural, remote and Indigenous communities to establish and manage practices and attract GPs, nurses and health professionals to work in our communities. To support 'Walk In' RARMS Health:
leases and manages the medical practice;
employs and trains qualified nursing and practice administration staff;
manages GP and patient databases;
supports doctors to obtain visas and meet immigration requirements where necessary;
provides doctors with training and development on the Australian health system, Medicare and health management;
negotiates Medical Officer contracts with local hospitals (where available);
manages Medicare payments for doctors;
provides a clinical governance and assurance system with leading Australian general practitioners and senior academics to provide clinical support and learning for doctors;
assists new doctors with rental of housing, essential purchases;
helps with getting kids into school, and for secondary education will work with you to access some of Australia's most prestigious independent schools for boarding;
provides support for doctors pursuing Fellowship with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine including generous and flexible leave, study time and assistance;
provides coverage for doctors to take holidays or time-off with locum or virtual GPO support with RARMS Health's dedicated virtual doctor service - the Remote GP Service;
provides introductions and welcomes to the local community.
Doctors that work with RARMS Health are independent contractors. By working with RARMS Health, doctors can run their own practice while knowing that they will be supported by a dedicated and committed professional medical practice staff. When doctors decide its time to leave, we assist them to find suitable positions in private or corporate practice, and can offer continuing employment opportunities with the RARMS Health telehealth service.
One of the benefits of working with RARMS Health is knowing that you are helping Australians that are most in need, and that every dollar we generate goes back to creating new jobs and opportunities in our communities.
Flexibility is the Key
Dr Clem Gordon and Dr Diana Coote
"We have worked in rural general practice for 30 years. RARMS takes care of the practice and we are in control of clinical care. And we can take leave whenever we want! RARMS takes care of us and we know our patients are looked after"
ISN'T RURAL PRACTICE CLINICALLY COMPLEX?
From a clinical perspective, rural practice is no different to metropolitan practice in terms of scope of practice and the professionalism and quality of health service delivery.
Rural practitioners do tend to deal with more patients presenting with multiple chronic diseases, pregnant women due to higher birth rates and older residents, and get significantly more opportunities to practice and develop their procedural skills, compared to major cities
GPs who work with RARMS Health also have the opportunity to engage in provision of health care to Indigenous Australians who comprise 25% of our active patient base across the network, and up to 60-70% in some locations.
Aboriginal Australians are the oldest living culture on earth and working with RARMS Health offers practitioners a unique opportunity to help us ensure the continuation of this culture and close the gap in health outcomes for our fellow Australians.
Providing medical services to people in rural, remote and Indigenous communities does present different challenges compared to major cities, but it is generally recognised that rural practitioners gain a much wider experience in diagnosis, treatment and procedural medicine compared to metropolitan practitioners due to the diverse health profile of rural and Indigenous communities.
These experiences are typically highly valued when GPs move into metropolitan or regional practice during their career.
RARMS 'a supportive organisation'
Dr Anthony Scherz, Locum
"I’ve found RARMS to be a professional, supportive organisation with a focus on the provision of quality, comprehensive rural health care."
CAN I EARN AS MUCH IN RURAL PRACTICE?
A common question we get asked is whether you can make a good financial living in rural and remote Australia? The answer is yes if you work towards a goal.
Rural, remote and Indigenous practice is no different to metropolitan practice, except that RARMS Health is typically the only health service in town (including the local hospitals which our GPs typically run as VMOs).
For example, during the recent COVID-19 outbreak metropolitan practices reported declines in patient attendances of between 27-40%. At RARMS Health, the decline has been around 2-5%.
Rural and Indigenous communities are characterised by a high prevalence of chronic disease and preventable illness. The Australian health system provides performance incentives for doctors to focus on reducing preventable illness, and avoidable hospitalisations, through a targeted focus on meeting the health needs of patients at higher risk.
RARMS Health's professional medical management staff have the expertise and experience to assist doctors to focus on population health needs, target specific medical priorities in their community, and ensure that all health services are properly managed to meet strict Medicare requirements.
RARMS Health's nursing staff are there to support chronic disease management, procedures and other matters as part of a multi-disciplinary health team to ensure the highest quality care for patients and the best use of doctor's time.
RARMS Health has been established to make it as easy as possible for doctors to work in rural and remote communities, gain valuable clinical and procedural skills and to support doctors when it is time for them to pursue their career goals.
Equally important, however, is the cost of living in rural towns is significantly lower compared to major cities. Median house prices start around $200K compared to $.2 million in Sydney and residential rents are also low. For young doctors starting out, there is an opportunity to gain a wide range of clinical skills, have a full waiting room, access performance incentives and have a very low cost of living.
With RARMS Health's renowned support for flexible work, including organising locum back-ups to allow GPs to take a holiday, attend training or a conference or just take some 'me-time' - rural practice is a great opportunity for doctors establishing their careers in Australia whether local or from overseas.
A great RARMS experience in Walgett
Mohammad Sharier, GP/VMO
"I worked for RARMS in Walgett for 4 years. I had total flexibility on my roster, working environment and the staff were excellent and helpful in all aspects. RARMS helped me to settle in a small country town smoothly and was supportive all the time while I was doing my training with Remote Virtual Training Scheme (RVTS). I recommend RARMS as an employer - the best."
I'M INTERESTED IN A SHORT STINT IN RURAL PRACTICE
We get that! That is why we deliver a 'Walk In, Walk Out' model. We understand that not everyone wants to spend their whole career in rural and remote practice (no matter how fantastic it is) because of family, friends or career goals. Our communities understand this and support doctors who want to move on.
That is why agility and flexibility is at the core of the RARMS Health approach. We can work with you to create opportunities that meet your career and lifestyle goals.
For example, some of our doctors work in a rural or remote town for 2 weeks, and then provide services via telehealth for the other 2 weeks. We have doctors who have their own practice who do 2 week shifts with us. Our doctors have the opportunity to continue seeing patients after they leave rural practice via our Remote GP telehealth services, making sure that they retain a patient load while building up their own new practice. We are happy to work with your new medical practice to create arrangements to ensure that GPs don't experience a significant decline in income as they transition to another location.
We can accommodate GPs on 1,2,3,4 or 5 year contracts. Doctors who take a career break to do something different and build their skills. Doctors coming to the end of their careers who are exiting full-time practice and who want to come out for a month every quarter, or a week every month, to see patients and provide clinical supervision for our GPs working towards fellowship.
Please call us to talk about the opportunities with RARMS Health and the Remote GP Service to create a bespoke plan for supporting rural, remote and Indigenous communities.
GP/VMO at Lightning Ridge
Sanjay Singh Jamwal, GP/VMO
"My 18 months at Lightning Ridge as GP/VMO would not have been possible without the support of RARMS. Being a non-profit organisation, RARMS is providing great services to remote communities. Also, RARMS understands every aspect that is important to rural GPs and facilitates them. I really found RARMS quite approachable, understanding, organised and eager to help. I would not hesitate to work with RARMS in future and also would recommend RARMS if a GP wants to practise in the outback".