New scholarship for NT registrars

3 minute read

Top End GPs-in-training can apply now for scholarships of up to $20,000 provided by GP Registrars Australia.

General Practice Registrars Australia has unveiled a new scholarship for trainees in the Northern Territory, following an all-time low intake of GP registrars last year.

Only 14 doctors enrolled in GP vocational training in the Top End in 2023, down from a peak of 74 just seven years earlier.

The territory has fared better this year in terms of intake. The RACGP alone filled 21 of its 30 NT Australian GP Training Program places in 2024, and ACRRM recruited 22 registrars across both the AGPT and regional generalist training programs.

Before the transition of GP training back to the college, regional training organisation Northern Territory General Practice Education delivered several scholarships for trainees in the region.

These were: the Dr Debbie Stach award for Northern Territory GP Registrar of the Year, the Ada Wilmadda Parry Aboriginal Health Scholarship and the Professor Alan Walker Memorial Scholarship.

Given the NTGPE ceased operations in May last year, the awards and bursaries have passed to the GPRA.

The registrar organisation has also introduced a new, fourth scholarship aimed at attracting interstate registrars to the region: the GPRA Northern Territory Rural and Remote Scholarship.

At $20,000 over two years, the new scholarship is the most lucrative of the four. Two registrars can qualify for the scholarship each year.

Eligible applicants must be enrolled in the AGPT program outside of the NT but be applying for a training place in the territory for the 2024 or 2025 training year.

They also have to commit to working in an MMM6 or 7 region for a minimum of 12 months following receipt of the scholarship.

The terms are similar to an RACGP-funded grant announced in October, which awarded $10,000 to GP trainees who relocated to the NT for a six-month training post and slipped in an extra $5000 if that training post was rural.

Applicants for the GPRA scholarship will be disqualified if they have received any other scholarships in the previous six months.

This clause does not apply to the other three GPRA scholarships.

The Dr Debbie Stach award for Northern Territory GP registrar of the year grants $10,000 to a trainee with an “outstanding approach to medicine” and a commitment to improving Indigenous health outcomes in the territory.

Dr Stach died in a car accident in 2004 shortly after completing her GP training.

The Ada Wilmadda Parry scholarship provides $5000 to two registrars who demonstrate an interest in Indigenous health and culture and is named after one of the first Aboriginal cultural educators in the territory.

The final scholarship, named after Professor Alan Walker, is for GP registrars with a special interest in paediatrics. Each year, three registrars are eligible to receive a $5000 payment through the award.

Professor Walker, the first paediatrician to practise in the NT, died in 2007.

Applications opened this week and will close on Thursday, 28 March.

All awards and scholarships are limited to doctors on the AGPT program.

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