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Queensland Basic Physician Training (Adult Medicine) Network

The Queensland Basic Physician Training (Adult Medicine) Network is a statewide network designed to support Queensland trainees by providing:

  1. centralised, merit-based selection into basic training
  2. well-rounded on-the-job experience working with senior clinicians who offer supervision and mentorship throughout the basic training journey,
  3. access to a comprehensive teaching and education program (PDF 124 kB) and examination preparation resources including the Clinical Examination Preparation Program (CEPP)
  4. surety that all RACP basic training requirements will be met within 3-years. An additional fourth network year is available for trainees who defer or fail an examination.
  5. access to a range of RACP-accredited training hospitals offering a variety of clinical and procedural experiences. All training will be completed across several hospitals within the one networked rotation.

In Queensland, approval (endorsement) of basic training is limited to medical officers that have been formally selected into the training network.

BPT information session

For more information relating to the network, watch the recording of the information session that was held in May (provided below).

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Network trainee experience

Southside Network trainee experience

Video transcript

Dr Kathryn Berkman – Southside Network Rotation Coordinator: On the Southside Network we pride ourselves on excellence in clinical training we have a unique opportunity to train on both public and private as well as non-Queensland Health sides. Our network is made up of three tertiary hospitals which is the Princess Alexandra Hospital, the Mater Hospital and Greenslopes Hospital. We also have four level two hospitals which is Ipswich, QEII, Toowoomba and Logan hospitals and opportunities to train in regional settings such as Hervey Bay and Bundaberg. We guarantee that our trainees in the Southside network will get all the subspecialty and tertiary time that they need to meet their college requirements.

Dr Dan Truong – Neurology Advanced Trainee: So I completed my training on the Southside Network at Hervey Bay, QEII and Greenslopes Hospital. So I started at Hervey Bay and had a great time there, good place to live, peaceful and a good place to start working as a medical registrar. Then I did my exam preparation here at Greenslopes Hospital and the teaching there was fantastic, really supportive, especially the Director of Physician Education. So I'd highly recommend it and I got to do a neurology term there which I really enjoyed and now I'm working at PA hospital as a neurology registrar.

Berkman: On the Southside Network we provide our trainees a comprehensive written and clinical exam preparation and this includes didactic teaching, rates like clinical coaching and also trial exams for the written exam and for the clinical exam and our trainees learn from supportive and knowledgeable consultants and they also have opportunities to complete important research.

Dr Sarah Thang – Chief Medical Registrar: on the Southside Network I spent my first and last 6 months in Toowoomba and the middle 12 months at Princess Alexandra Hospital. In Toowoomba, it was a pretty amazing, unique opportunity to see the true diversity of general medicine, also a wonderful place to live. At PA that really prepped me for my clinical exam. There’s a wonderful supportive consultant group here and an intensive clinical exam information which now, as treatment registrar, I'm happy to assist with.

Berkman: we're very proud of our trainees over the last few years who have done better than the state average across all of our sites.

Northside Network trainee experience

Video transcript

Caption: Northside Rotation Network Trainee Experience

Dr Daniel Lancini: Yeah I think the Northside Network is a great choice for basic position training, comprises three large tertiary hospitals the Royal Brisbane, Prince Charles and Sunshine Coast University Hospital as well as a number of more peripheral Hospitals. I completed most of my training at the Royal Brisbane and I can personally attest to the quality of its physician training program between the internal medicine teaching meetings, the medical grand rounds as well as the fairies meeting where BPT candidates get to show off their prowess with interesting cases in front of their colleagues.

Just 15 minutes up the road we have Prince Charles which is one of Australia's largest cardiothoracic services and you know offers its medical registrar's exposure to unique patient groups and advanced interventions that are just not found elsewhere. Certainly a great site for your physician training and you know for as far as a tertiary side outside of the Brisbane CBD we've got Sunshine Coast University Hospital which also has a great range of learning opportunities, particularly for those that enjoy the sand and surf and then we also have hospitals like Caboolture and Redcliffe that similarly offer a great range of patient groups and pathologies.

Certainly good exposure opportunities for the for the medical registrars rotated there and then you know moving outside of Brisbane further north into the heart of Queensland I personally went to Rockhampton Hospital which was again a great opportunity to see how more peripheral hospitals function without the broad range of sub specialties that we have in Brisbane at the Royal Brisbane Hospital.

Certainly it's a good opportunity to practice with more independence. The consultants, they really hold Northside candidates in great regard. Mackay hospitals also offered it as part of the Northside network and I'm sure would offer a similarly rewarding experience.

So all in all, I think the Northside network is a great choice for basic physician training it offers an unparalleled range of opportunities for medical registrars of all interests and ambitions and it would set you up very well for your positions exams and onwards.

Cairns Network trainee experience

Video transcript

Dr Simon Smith – Staff Specialist Infectious Diseases: I first came to Australia ten years ago to the Sunshine Coast but I really wanted to experience Tropical Medicine and a more rural location so I made my way north was here as a registrar before moving south to complete my training and infectious diseases but really nothing compared and so after working down south I really missed Far North Queensland had to offer.

Dr Melissa Katz – Endocrinology and General Medicine Advanced Trainee: One of the main advantages from a medical perspective of working in Far North Queensland is that you do have the opportunity to see a lot of particularly interesting infectious disease

admissions. We've had people admitted with malaria melioidosis, leptospirosis and other tropical infections.

Smith: You get quite a general exposure to clinical scenarios and clinical problems often you're expected to chip in and help everyone else out and so you get this breadth of exposure to lots of different people with lots of different medical problems.

Katz: Another thing that's quite different is that a lot of patients due to the remoteness of the area that we cover is that some patients do present quite late in their illness which allows you to see quite good pathology and get that experience of dealing with very sick and complex patients.

Smith: With all of our basic position trainees will be able to rotate through at least six months of subspecialty training during their basic physician training and you're able to do all of your basic physician training in northern Queensland. The only requirement would be to go to a small rural hospital for a period of three months and so being able to provide medical services to these communities is very fulfilling.

Katz: I've always felt very well supported in all of my rotations that I've done up here both as a junior doctor and also as part of my basic training. I've had a number of different learning opportunities, I've worked in rural areas. Doing rural time has further enabled me to build my confidence in dealing with more complicated patients.

Smith: As a trainee here you have the opportunity to travel to remote Indigenous communities to provide medical support that includes Thursday Islands, bamaca and all of the areas in the Cape York Peninsula.

Katz: I’ve always had very good consultants that are very humble very approachable which is why I try and learn as much as I could from them. So I was recently given an award for research within the department of medicine there are a lot of very good research opportunities and a lot of consultants that are very interested in research,

Smith: In northern Queensland, every day is a great day, it's always beautiful weather so when I get some spare time and usually find me on the beach just casting a line or well beyond the reef fishing just after some Spanish mackerel or some big coral trout.

Katz: I've played netball since I was 7 years old, so it's always something that I’ve loved. I've This year I joined the team without knowing anyone in my team and the club was very welcoming.

Smith: Everyone's really happy everyone's really supportive and everyone has that same goal to improve the care of people living up here if you show an interest and won't live here and stay even longer but everyone's even happier about that.

Caption: Explore specialty training opportunities in northern Queensland

Coastal Rotation Network trainee experience

Video transcript

Dr. Kieran Oldfield: I did my undergraduate in the local area, and for my very first rotation in this hospital, I was always impressed by the collegial nature and all the support that was offered to me.

Dr. Hashim Abdeen: The Coastal Network has helped me with many various parts of my career in terms of progression, and it's helped me with education and training to pass my recent written exams, and also my various leadership roles including becoming chair of the AMAQ Council of Doctors in Training this year.

Dr. Rowena Solayar:  I did my basic physician training here with the coastal pathway where I rotated through various hospitals: the Gold Coast University Hospital, Logan Hospital, as well as the Redlands Hospital. I was exposed to various cases and had the privilege to work with different consultants. Definitely helped to prepare me for my written and my clinical exams, and thankfully got onto my cardiology advanced training program here.

Dr Robert Mason: My journey started here in 2010, with internship, and later as a trainee on the coastal rotation. Following that I did advanced training in medical oncology, a fellowship overseas at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London and returned this year as a consultant oncologist here. It's been a wonderful journey and I'd highly recommend the rotation.

Dr. Kieran Oldfield: So since I've been training with the Coastal Network, I've been given plenty of sub-specialty rotations, and this breadth of exposure's given me the confidence to act autonomously, but with also plenty of support from my senior colleagues.

Dr. Rowena Solayar: Well, I've always been fascinated with the heart, and definitely working here as a BPT when I was initially training inspired me to do cardiology even more. And there's an amazing Cardiology team here at the Gold Coast University Hospital, a lot of focus on education and good exposure to Interventional cardiology, electrophysiology, as well as echocardiography here.

Dr. Hashim Abdeen: The Gold Coast is a very social environment. We have a Doctors in Training Society that organises annual events and end-term drinks where everyone from a consultant to and intern, to even Allied Health attend. There's even a cricket team between consultants and interns that play every so often, to encourage us to be involved with the social community here on the Gold Coast.

Dr. Kieran Oldfield: The two best things I like working on the Gold Coast are the lack of traffic and the ease of getting around wherever you want to go, and all the nature that's around us. You've got the lovely hinterland and the hikes and of course the beach, so your weekends are just fantastic.

Dr. Rowena Solayar: The coastal pathway is definitely an excellent place to train as a basic physician trainee, with lots of learning opportunities with lots to offer. We definitely look forward to welcoming you to be part of our BPT family.

Basic Physician Training

Video transcript

Our Physician Training Program is very unique in that it's one of the very few regionally-based, level three tertiary hospitals that has the opportunities for all sub-specialties of medicine.

We are only one of two hospitals RACP has approved across the country to complete the entire 36 months in the one location. With an on-site university hospital on the campus with James Cook University it means you have the library, the access to research, the support from a research unit, so I think it gives you that fascinating mix of a regional life with the benefits of professional experience that you get in the metros.

We've been very fortunate to produce consistently good results for our candidates in jumping through the hoop that they really, really all want to jump through which is their physician exam. It's a bit of a misconception by some trainees that they need to be in the bigger cities to get progression in their career pathway and to get on programs, you know I'm here to tell you that I don't think that that's accurate at all.

I'm PGY4, I applied for provisional training in Neurology next year and I'm already doing an advanced trainee role. The reason I really enjoy Physician Training in Townsville is that it really incorporates everything that I want in a Physician Training Center.

It has excellent teaching, it's academically minded, they arrange regular teaching sessions for all the Basic Physician Trainees, not only to guide you through those horrible exams but to also just mentor you along your way and help you find the specialty that suits you best, and then help you make headway into achieving your goals of getting a career in that pathway.

I guess if you come to Townsville and you just want to be a bit of a sponge, you're just going to get flooded with all the learning that you can take. I would encourage anyone who's interested in doing Basic Physician Training to consider doing it in a place like Townsville. I hit the ground running in PGY2, in my resident year, which is a great opportunity and not all hospitals allow you to get onto the pathway that early.

Townsville is really great because it's building a culture of excellence. The pass rate for the written exam here really speaks to always wanting to improve, to get feedback, to be the best doctors that we can be. I really strongly urge anyone who wants world-class physician training to consider Townsville.

If what you want is a well-rounded opportunity, lots of access to specialty programs, personalised investment in your career and decision making then I think that's something that Townsville can really offer.

I think the other thing about Townsville is in a lot of ways there are departments that are quite young, they're still forming, there's still input, things are still changing, and that really does create an opportunity for people because all of a sudden you can be the person who contributes something to a department that helps mould it and shape it into what it becomes in the future.

There's just so much growth and opportunity and so much potential for people who are keen and eager.

We have lifestyle plus in Townsville.

Regardless of what your area of interest may be we cater for it.

Basically we get nine months of perfect weather here in Townsville. The lifestyle in Townsville is probably the main attraction point for me, and I think it should be for most physician trainees.

We're coastal, we have great beaches, we have great camping, great fishing, we have a lot of diving that goes on up here, we have all of these options and it really just influences your work-life balances and it helps you to kind of get a bit of a distraction from work.

I guess in physician training, given the exams and how gruelling they are, you can really get stuck down just studying and working, and studying and working, and when you open your door and you've got a beach just laid out in front of you it kind of takes you away from that.

Why would you want to train in Brisbane when you can train here?

Last updated: 5 May 2023