BACKGROUND: Australian general practice training was regionalised in 2002 to better meet the specific health care needs of local communities. As a result, 22 unique regions were established, each containing a variety of training practices and learning contexts. The core learning opportunities in distinct learning contexts have not been well explored. METHODS: The research group identified criteria for delineating learning contexts and applied them to the training practices in the Northern Territory. Using focus groups of general practice registrars, we identified the learning opportunities available in each context. RESULTS: Context criteria were identified as: model of health service organisation and delivery; rurality; and community demography. Four distinct contexts were identified: mainstream general practice; regional hospital; Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS); and Aboriginal community clinic. Each learning context demonstrated both strengths and deficiencies, and also provided unique learning opportunities. DISCUSSION: Benefits in defining the learning contexts and opportunities within a general practice training region apply to registrars, trainers, providers, policy makers and standard setters. Context definition provides a valuable tool for more targeted and effective training, contributes to curriculum development and facilitates a more responsive and appropriate education program. We encourage adaptation of this model to other regions.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Australian Family Physician|
|Issue number||12 suppl|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2005|