In simple terms, a general practitioner with special interest or GPwSI refers to a GP who functions as a go-between for primary, secondary and tertiary care.
For those who are willing to make the commitment and do the work, starting a career in medicine from the ground up involves a significant amount of study. For those who eventually reach the other side and receive their tertiary qualifications, there’s no other career path quite like becoming a doctor.
Upon completing their studies, there usually comes a point when every fledging doctor has to decide what to specialise in. While the average Australian is likely to come across a broad range of specialist doctors within their lifetime, in most cases a diagnosis starts with a trip to the local general practitioner, or one of the most commonly recognised types of doctors.
Considering that the healthcare sector is Australia’s biggest employer, the role of a GP is somewhat like the front door to the house of medicine. However, a general practitioner with special interest, or a GPwSI, can help patients to navigate the other rooms of that house – but what exactly does that involve?
Working As A General Practitioner With Special Interest
Although the term originated in the United Kingdom as a part of a workforce strategy that aimed to decrease the burden on specialist services and improve patients’ access to specialist care, GPwSI roles are now present in the healthcare services of many countries such as Canada, The Netherlands, and of course, Australia.
Over the course of the last fifteen years, the role of a GPwSI has escalated with increased interest in Australia. So much so that the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners’ (RACGP) Faculty of Specific Interests lists around 17,000 Fellows across 29 Specific Interests Networks. Universities now offer advanced special interest diplomas, and Queensland Health also employs 48 GPwSIs in specialties as diverse as general surgery, dermatology, neurology, gastroenterology, orthopedics and gynaecology.
In essence, the role of a general practitioner with special interest is designed to take the pressure off national healthcare services, and to deliver greater patient outcomes and satisfaction. While standard general practitioners offer a broad knowledge of the health system – particularly for primary care – specialising in one sub interest also allows greater career satisfaction through the diversity in their day to day professional lives. GPwSI roles also represent a unique opportunity for GPs to upskill within an area of their interest, and strengthen the links between primary care practitioners and hospital-based specialist services.
Many of their patients tend to feel a lot more relaxed when their primary health care professional is the one who is able to stick with them all the way through their experience with the medical system as well. GPwSIs also have a significant impact on reducing wait times for their patients, and can also increase appropriate discharges of patients back to their regular GPs as well. As they facilitate contact between primary and secondary health care providers, their ‘in between’ style role helps to streamline communication and outcomes for a broad range of patients who may feel frustrated or overwhelmed with the medical system.
While general practitioners with special interest roles are on the rise right around the nation, it would seem that Queensland is also recognising their unique contribution. In fact, the Queensland Government’s “Specialist Outpatient Strategy – Improving the Patient Journey” has committed $30 million dollars over the course of three years to explore a range of service delivery models that can be delivered to patients in a timely and cost-effective manner.
GP Career Opportunities In Queensland
If you’re on the hunt for a doctor or general practitioner role in the Sunshine State, there’s a chance that you’ll either want to work a little, a lot – or somewhere in between. Queensland based opportunities with House Call Doctor offer flexibility, with shifts that fit around your current workload, personal commitments, or even just lifestyle preferences.
Whether you’re looking to increase your earning potential, gain experience, or even just have a desire for greater job satisfaction, opportunities with House Call Doctor offer local medical practitioners a chance to explore what out of hours and locum healthcare is like, while still retaining a sense of freedom and flexibility. If you’re looking for an opportunity to broaden your career horizons, are you –
- An Australian or Internationally Trained Medical Graduate
- Have full registration with the Medical Board of Australia
- Have two years post graduate experience, including experience in paediatrics, accident and emergency, general medicine and surgery
If you can answer yes to all of the above, then why not consider registering your interest for locum general practitioner doctor jobs with House Call Doctor today, and be a part of the medical revolution.