The Role of the Female Rural Generalist

Dr Maria Capoluongo1, Dr  Sundar  Thavapalasundaram

1Royal Flying Doctors Service South Eastern Section, Broken Hill, Australia


What role does the female rural generalist play in the landscape of rural generalism?

What role do we play if anything in shaping the provision of primary care?

Being a female GP who works remotely I can say that we add so much to our communities we serve. It is so important to be representative. Im lucky enough to work for the RFDS who unashamedly fly the flag for this cause. I am also lucky enough to work with some great female colleagues.

Female medics account for half the general practice work force if not more and our numbers are growing.

How do we attract more female GP’s to these rural roles , I will explore some of these ways in this presentation and hope to find new ways to help fill the gaps we are facing in medical workforce in the bush.

  1. Talent finding- novel ideas, advertising, recruitment drives, conferences, courses, sending questionnaires out to city GP’s- offer sabbaticals in rural areas.
  2. Proactive – medical schools, promotional work, target newly qualified GP’S
  3. Incentives – financial, relocation, childcare for mothers, childcare very important, spousal employment opportunities
  4. Stigma professional isolation talking this, discussions, forums, rural generalist pathway- stream lining this

5 Retention- professional development, work life balance. lifestyles choices.

  1. Leadership Roles- offering more to females, management roles teaching and academic.

A general push is needed in this area at a local and government level, we need more GP’S and we will soon be facing crisis in primary care provision. Something needs to be done.


Dr Capoluongo MBBS, BSc, MRCGP, FRACGP

Uk traine GP, interest in mental health and service development, moved to Australia with family to work for RFDSSE. Currently GP with RFDS, delivering primary to the outback