Media release

AMA puts spotlight on the benefits of a career in general practice

AMA Vision Statement for General Practice Training 2016

The AMA launched the new AMA Vision for General Practice in Training 2016 at the annual AMA Trainee Forum, which was conducted in Melbourne over the weekend.

The Forum, which hosts doctors in training and trainee representatives from across the country, was this year attended by more than 40 young doctors, some of whom are destined for a career in general practice.

AMA President, Professor Brian Owler, said today that general practice is the cornerstone of health care in Australia.

“GPs are the first port of call when Australians feel unwell or want health advice, and GPs directly manage 90 per cent of the medical problems they are presented with,” Professor Owler said.

“According to surveys, around 93 per cent of patients return to the same practice, and 66 per cent of patients return to the same GP.

“General practice is also an efficient and cost-effective part of the Australian health system, with spending on general practice just seven per cent of total health spending.

“GPs are increasingly caring for patients with multiple illnesses and complex care needs. It is a challenging career, but one that affords great personal rewards.”

Professor Owler said the AMA Vision Statement for General Practice Training 2016 puts the spotlight on the professional and personal rewards of a general practice career, with the aim of attracting more medical students into the specialty.

“Our GP Vision Statement sets out key principles for the development of an appropriately trained and sustainable general practice workforce that meets individual and community needs, serves the most disadvantaged, and achieves health equity,” Professor Owler said.

“We need to produce GPs whose patients want to share their journey, who people see as the first and ongoing primary source of help and expertise, who have the wisdom to help guide patients with their personal health needs, who are enthusiastic about helping people navigate the system when they need other specialist care, and who can coordinate the complex health care needs of a growing number of people in the community.

“The Vision Statement sets out what the AMA believes are the core values and priorities for GP training, and it will guide the AMA's advocacy in this area for 2016 and beyond.”

Professor Owler said there are currently around 4500 GP registrars undertaking general practice training in Australia, and more than 2100 actively engaged GP supervisors, and the AMA wants to ensure that all trainees and supervisors are strongly supported throughout the GP training journey.

“The AMA has always been a strong advocate for more resources to be invested in support of GP training – registrars, supervisors, more training places, incentives, and infrastructure - to maintain a sustainable GP workforce,” Professor Owler said.

“The AMA is passionate about building a sustainable general practice workforce, which is equipped to respond to the changing health care needs of individuals and local communities.”

The AMA Vision Statement for General Practice Training 2016 is at


7 March 2016

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