GP registrar satisfaction survey shows success of nationally consistent training program

Royal Australian College of GPs

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) says high GP registrar satisfaction reflects the success of the nationally consistent training program, and the smooth transition of most GP training to the College in February 2023.

The RACGP also reinforced its calls for the next Federal Budget to go further to support a strong GP workforce by removing barriers to GP training.

The latest Australian General Practice Training Program 2023 National Registrar Survey found across 1,365 respondents (39% of the 3,476 in training):

  • 92.4% satisfaction with the Quality of overall training and education experience provided by their supervisors and training practice
  • 85.1% satisfaction with the quality of the overall training and education experience with the RACGP
  • 85.6% satisfaction with the quality of training advice
  • 87.4% satisfaction with feedback on training progress
  • 81.4% satisfaction with support for examinations and assessments
  • 75.9% of registrars have participated in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural safety and awareness training, with 94.8% satisfaction among those registrars.

Results were particularly promising for rural GP workforce training:

  • 82.7% of GPs training as Rural Generalists (RGs) said they intend to remain in rural practice
  • 87% satisfaction with support from their state or territory Rural Generalist coordination units among RGs
  • 57% of GP registrars overall have undertaken or are undertaking education aimed at understanding the health needs of rural communities1.

RACGP President Dr Nicole Higgins welcomed the results.

“The College’s GP training team, including our hardworking medical educators, the GPs who train our next generation, should be proud of these results,” she said.

“They speak to a training program that supports and mentors doctors to become specialist GPs who can meet the needs of their communities, now and into the future. Since the RACGP took a leading role in GP training, our educators and support teams have dedicated themselves to providing a welcoming, supportive, rigorous, and engaging training program and these results reflect that. They also speak to the limited disruption to GP training the College has delivered for registrars, GPs, and the communities who depend on them.

“But as I’ve been saying this week to MPs and senators in Canberra, if they want their constituents to be healthy throughout all stages of their lives, they need to work together to build a stronger GP workforce. GPs specialise in whole-of-person care, which keeps people healthy and out of hospital through efficient and effective use of health resources.

“We need to support and grow our GP workforce, and we know what works – investment to ensure GPs registrars are as well-supported as their hospital colleagues. That’s why the next Budget must fund paid parental and study leave for GP registrars and an incentive to ensure they’re paid the same as those working in hospitals. We can – and we should – also support well-qualified doctors who gained their degrees overseas to train as specialist GPs in Australia. Those GPs make up around half of our rural workforce, and we should support them to succeed and stay in their communities.”

Previously, the RACGP reported that 2024 GP training numbers show incentives work to attract doctors to train in – largely rural – areas of need.

  • 114 incentivised training placements were successfully filled in areas of workforce need
  • 91% of new GP training places were filled in 2024, compared to 85% in 2023, with rural places growing 11%.

GPs in Training chair Dr Rebecca Loveridge said the transition to training under the RACGP had been successful, and member feedback showed parity in pay and leave with hospital-based registrars is a key priority for GPs in training.

“Consolidating the work of multiple regional training organisations into a College-led training model was a complex task which, as the high levels of satisfaction among registrars reflects, was very successful,” she said.

“We’ve seen RACGP training numbers increase from 2023 to 2024, with more registrars working in rural and remote communities.

/Public Release.